March 7, 2018 / 9:36 AM / 5 months ago

U.N. rights chief doubts moral, legal basis for Syria's Ghouta campaign

GENEVA (Reuters) - The Syria government’s offensive in the besieged rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta cannot be justified by its targetting of a few hundred fighters, United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a speech on Wednesday.

“Recent attempts to justify indiscriminate, brutal attacks on hundreds of thousands of civilians by the need to combat a few hundred fighters – as in Eastern Ghouta – are legally, and morally, unsustainable,” he told the U.N. Human Rights Council.

“Also, when you are prepared to kill your own people so easily, lying is easy too. Claims by the Government of Syria that it is taking every measure to protect its civilian population are frankly ridiculous.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Tom Miles

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