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A U.N. report charges the Syrian government for the massacre of nearly 50 children and 50 civilians near Houla

By Santiago Wills
Published August 15, 2012 9:55PM (EDT)

On Wednesday, the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry released a 102-page report stating that Syrian government forces coupled with Shabbiha fighters are responsible for war crimes and the massacre of almost 100 civilians near the town of Houla last May.

The document, ordered by the Human Rights Council, "underlines that such violations were committed pursuant to State policy pointing to the involvement at the highest levels of the armed and security forces and the Government," according to a UN statement.

The report also accuses anti-government forces of similar actions.

"The commission found reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes, including murder, extrajudicial execution and torture, had been perpetrated by organized anti-Government armed group," the inquiry says.

The report adds, "The commission reiterates that the best solution is a negotiated settlement involving an inclusive and meaningful dialogue among all parties, leading to a political transition that reflects the legitimate aspirations of all segments of Syrian society, including ethnic and religious minorities."

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Conflict Human Rights Syria United Nations War Crime