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UN experts call for sparing civilians in fight against Islamic State

September 16, 2014 12:39

GENEVA  - United Nations war crimes investigators for Syria said on Tuesday that world powers preparing military action against Islamic State fighters must respect the rules of war requiring them to protect civilians and be proportionate in their strikes.

The US military struck an Islamic State target southwest of Baghdad, US Central Command said on Monday, in an expansion of the Obama administration's campaign against the group that has seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

"As military action on ISIS positions seems increasingly likely, we remind all parties that they must abide by the laws of war and most particularly, the principles of distinction and proportionality. Serious efforts must be made to preserve civilian life," Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the UN commission of inquiry, said in a statement to the Human Rights Council.

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