GENEVA: UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Saturday accused Syrian forces of carrying out "no-holds-barred" military offensives after a spike in violence left hundreds of civilians dead.
Calling for "urgent international action" to protect civilians, Zeid also slammed what he called an "epic failure of global diplomacy" to end the seven-year-old war.
"The past week has been one of the bloodiest periods of the entire conflict, with wave after wave of deadly airstrikes leading to civilian casualties in areas of Eastern Ghouta and Idlib," Zeid said in a statement. According to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Office, at least 277 civilians were killed last week including 230 in air strikes by Syrian government and allied forces, the statement said.
"The no-holds-barred nature of this assault is evidenced by reports that at least nine medical facilities, six of them in Idlib and three in Eastern Ghouta, were hit by air strikes," the statement added.