Militant opposition groups step up crimes in Syria: U.N. report

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 16, 2013 6:35 AM

GENEVA (Reuters) - Militant opposition groups in Syria, including foreign fighters invoking jihad or holy war, have stepped up killings and other crimes in the north, U.N. human rights investigators said on Monday.

"Across northern Syria, there has been an upsurge in crimes and abuses committed by extremist anti-government armed groups along with an influx of rebel foreign fighters. Entire brigades are now made up from fighters who have crossed into Syria, with Al Muhajireen being one of the most active," Paulo Pinheiro, chair of the independent inquiry, told the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Reporting on suspected war crimes since July 15, he also said the Syrian government had continued its "relentless campaign of air bombardment and artillery shelling across the country".

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams)