UN rights expert says Syria is in 'free fall'

AP News
Posted: Jul 29, 2013 2:44 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The head of the U.N. commission investigating human rights abuses in Syria says the country is in "free fall" and has become a battlefield where civilians are the main victims of "acts of terror" from indiscriminate shelling to rape and sectarian killing.

Paulo Pinheiro told the U.N. General Assembly Monday that "massacres and other unlawful killings are perpetrated with impunity" — most by pro-government forces and some by anti-government armed groups.

He demanded that the government stop using imprecise weapons such as unguided missiles on civilian areas, and said both sides must stop laying siege to cities and towns, cutting off vital supplies of food, water, medicine and electricity.

Pinheiro said the international community must demand a diplomatic solution to the 2 1/2-year conflict that has killed over 100,000 people.