UN says Syrian government and rebels commit crimes against humanity

The report found government forces engage in “murder and torture, war crimes and gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including unlawful killing, indiscriminate attacks against civilian populations and acts of sexual violence,” according to the report.

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While the Assad government pegged the death total in the conflict at 8,000 as of July, other activist groups have put that total between 17,000 and 20,000. The investigators were only able to confirm 840 deaths because of the limited access they had in the country.


Forces linked with the Assad regime are also accused of killing more than 100 civilians -- half of them children -- in a shelling in Al-Houla in May. The initial report in July detailed the mass killing, but couldn’t assign blame to one side. Evidence places blame on government forces.


The UN report called for a negotiated settlement between all parties and said the increased firepower of both sides will lead to disastrous results.


"The increased militarization of the conflict is disastrous for the Syrian people and could provoke tragic consequences for the entire region.”


The report comes one day after rebel forces claimed to shoot down a Syrian fighter jet. Syrian rebels released a video with what they said was a downed MiG and a captured pilot, according to the Associated Press.


On Tuesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that instituting a no-fly zone in the country wasn’t “on the front burner.”