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Turkish Foreign Minister urges world to declare Syria attacks on citizens war crimes

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu [official profile] on Wednesday urged the international community to declare Syria's actions against its own citizens war crimes. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Davutoglu stated [AP report] that cities were being "bombarded ... indiscriminately" and that the government is committing criminal acts. Both sides of the conflict have intensified attacks while diplomacy has failed to provide a solution. The recent escalation of violence in Syria included a government rocket attack on Wednesday that hit a northern village of Abu Taltal in the Aleppo province village controlled by rebel factions and killed six family members.

The Syrian government has been engaged in a bloody conflict with numerous opposition groups [BBC backgrounder] since March 2011 when nationwide protests opposing the government of President Bashar al-Assad [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] began. The revolt against Assad has lasted 22 months and the death toll has reached 60,000 [JURIST report] and began with protests that quickly turned into violence between Assad's forces and demonstrators. UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profiles] stated last Friday that the continued violence in Syria has been harming civilian human rights [JURIST report] and humanitarian attempts at aiding those in need. More than 50 countries asked [JURIST report] the UN Security Council earlier this month to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official websites]. In October Pillay urged [JURIST report] world powers to work toward ending the suffering in Syria, emphasizing uniformity and cooperation among leaders to quell the violence.

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