UN: Syria jets deliberately hit Damascus water supply
United Nations investigators have accused Syria’s air force of deliberately bombing water facilities in December on the outskirts of Damascus, a war crime that cut off water for 5.5 million people in and around the capital.
The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria on Tuesday said it had found no evidence of deliberate contamination of the water supply or demolition by armed groups, as the Syrian government maintained at the time.
"While the presence of armed group fighters at (the) spring constituted a military target, the extensive damage inflicted to the spring had a devastating impact on more than five million civilians in both government and opposition controlled areas who were deprived of regular access to potable water for over one month," the commission’s report, which based its conclusions on interviews with residents and satellite imagery, as well as publicly available information, said.
Syrian forces block aid to eastern Ghouta "The attack amounts to the war crime of attacking objects indispensable for the survival of the civilian population, and further violated the principle of proportionality in attacks."
On January 8, civilians were wounded in Baseemeh village near Damascus when pro-government forces used chlorine munitions.
In January and February, the UNáinvestigators documented four additional chlorine attacks in the eastern Ghouta area, which were aimed at frontline fighting positions.
There was no evidence of Russian involvement in chlorine attacks, the report said.
Osama Abu Zaid, a spokesman for the rebels, said they had taken a final decision not to go to the talks as a result of Russia’s failure to end what the opposition says are widespread violations of a Turkish-Russian brokered ceasefire last December.
For its part, the Syrian government blamed Turkey for opposition forces boycotting the Astana meeting.
"Turkey should bear the responsibility for the failure of the opposition to attend Astana 3," Syrian government representative Bashar Jaafari said in comments carried by state news agency SANA.