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UN rights council condemns foreign military involvement in Syria

The UN Human Rights Council [official website] on Friday passed a resolution the use of foreign fighters in the Syrian Civil War [JURIST backgrounder], responding to an influx of foreign militants on both sides of the conflict, including Lebanese Hezbollah militants supporting the Syrian government. The resolution did not call [Reuters report] for a stoppage of arms flow into Syria, merely a cessation on foreign troops involvement in the conflict. The rights council's decision to discourage such activity comes one day after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights announced that the death toll in the Syrian conflict [JURIST report] had reached at least 93,000. That same day the US said it would beginproviding arms for Syrian rebels [WSJ report] after concluding that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad [official website] had used chemical weapons against the Syrian people.

Last Tuesday a panel of UN human rights experts issued their latest report on the conflict, detailing escalating war crimes [JURIST report] committed by both sides. The Syrian Civil War [JURIST news archive] has been ongoing since 2011 when opposition groups first began protesting the regime of Assad. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] released a statement two weeks ago on the increase in condemning the most recent violence [JURIST report] in Syria, and expressing concern over how it has been affecting the civilian population. Two weeks ago Navi Pillay condemned the recent violence in Qusayr [map] and criticized [JURIST reports] the broader human rights violations taking place in Syria. In May Pillay called for international action [JURIST report] after a series of massacres were carried out against Syrian civilians. Last month Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] condemned the Syrian Air Force for deliberately targeting civilians [JURIST report] in air strikes in rebel-controlled areas. In March HRW accused Syria's military [JURIST report] of using widely-banned cluster bombs against civilians.

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