A new U.N. Human Rights Council report finds that Syrian troops and security forces have committed crimes against humanity, including murder, torture, and rape, during their months-long violent crackdown on pro-democracy activists. Based on hundreds of interviews, the report documents incidents of excessive use of force and extrajudicial executions. The panel of independent experts said Syrian troops “received orders to shoot at unarmed protesters without warning.” The report also documents the rape and murder of young children. “One military defector stated,” according to the report, “that he decided to defect after witnessing the shooting of a 2-year-old girl in Al Ladhiqiyah on 13 August by an officer who affirmed that he did not want her to grow into a demonstrator.”
U.N. Dispatch’s Mark Leon Goldberg notes some of the report’s other grim revelations.