The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned Wednesday that at least 7,000 people in Deir-Ez-Zor province were trapped, amid efforts to dislodge ISIL (Islamic State terrorists) from one of their last strongholds in Syria. Ms. Bachelet was speaking to journalists in Geneva.
“These civilians are of course frightened and stuck between the intensifications of the airstrikes and bombardments against ISIL on one hand, and also being prevented from leaving the areas under ISIL’s control on the other hand,” Ms. Bachelet said.
“We have also reports of ISIL executing civilians perceived as cooperating with the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) or with other parties to the conflict,” she added.
The High Commissioner urged the extremists to remove all military personnel and objects from civilian areas, in line with international law.
She also reminded all parties to the conflict – “including all States conducting operations against ISIL” – that they had an obligation under humanitarian international law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure at all times.
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