UN rights chief expresses concern over situation in Syria's Deir-ez-Zor

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-06 07:08:08|Editor: ZD
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GENEVA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday expressed her concern over the situation in Syria's Deir-ez-Zor Governorate, saying that civilians continue to pay the highest price in the conflict.

In a statement, Bachelet said that at least 7,000 civilians remain trapped in ISIL-held areas there, and these frightened civilians are stuck between the intensification of bombardment against ISIL on one hand, and are being prevented from leaving areas under ISIL control on the other hand.

"We have reports of ISIL executing civilians perceived as cooperating with the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) or other parties to the conflict," she said.

The UN rights chief stressed that all parties to the conflict, including all states conducting operations against ISIL, have an obligation under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure at all times.

"I also urge all anti-government groups to take measures to ensure general protection of the civilian population and remove all military personnel and objects from civilian populated areas as required by international humanitarian law," she said.

Over the past months, there have been increased reports of civilian casualties and displacements due to air strikes and ground fighting in the Deir-ez-Zor Governorate.