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“In an update to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, Paulo Pinheiro, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, appealed to the warring parties to stop fighting and get back to the negotiating table. Civilians, he said, are in the unenviable role of being the target of most of the violence, he said.

In his latest update to the Human Rights Council, Mr. Pinheiro said it was his twentieth report to the body and underscored once again the unspeakable toll on civilians.

The so-called ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement – which is guaranteed by Russia, Turkey and Iran – had resulted in a ‘discernible’ reduction in violence in Idlib and western Aleppo. And while that initiative – along with UN-facilitated intra-Syrian talks – was a ‘step in the right direction,’ the enduring violence in Homs, Damascus and southern Dara'a, ‘has not changed in nature,’ he explained to the Council members.

‘Whether it be the unrestrained use of airstrikes against residential neighbourhoods, attacks against doctors and hospitals, or the use of suicide bombers that deliberately target civilians, fighting remains brutal in purpose and reprehensible in method,’ stated Mr. Pinheiro.”

— United Nations News Centre: Head of UN human rights inquiry decries 'disastrous' civilian death toll in Syria (Jun. 14 2017)

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