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Syria, allies likely targeted civilian sites in rebel stronghold: UN

Syria, allies likely targeted civilian sites in rebel stronghold: UN

DPA
New York
The Syrian government and its allies are likely behind attacks targeting civilian and medical facilities in north-western Syria, causing deaths, injuries and material damage, UN investigators said, according to a report released on Monday.
In August, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres ordered an investigation into the destruction of hospitals, schools and other facilities in Idlib, the last major rebel-held area in Syria.
A board of inquiry was tasked with investigating attacks on facilities “on the United Nations’ deconfliction list and United Nations-supported facilities.” According to a summary of the board’s report, investigators “found it highly probable” that the Syrian government and its allies hit three health facilities, a school and a children’s centre in 2019.
A Palestinian refugee camp in Aleppo was likely attacked “either by armed opposition groups or by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham,” a militia group close to al-Qaeda, the report said.
In all cases, the board said, the evidence was not enough to reach a conclusive finding.
Russia, President Bashar al-Assad’s key ally, and Turkey, which supports some rebel groups, have reached ceasefire agreements on Idlib several times in recent years.
However, these deals collapsed shortly after as government forces continue their offensive on the area supported by Russian air power.
The area is dominated by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. More moderate groups are also fighting there.
The violence in Idlib has displaced nearly 1 million people, who have set up refugee camps in areas near the Syrian-Turkish border. 
A fragile ceasefire has been in place since last month.

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