UN warns about sectarian fighting in Syria

December 20, 2012 11:56

BRUSSELS - The war in Syria has become divided across sectarian lines, increasingly pitting the ruling Alawite community against the majority Sunnis, with foreign fighters assisting both sides, United Nations human rights investigators said on Thursday.

"As battles between government forces and anti-government armed groups approach the end of their second year, the conflict has become overtly sectarian in nature," the independent investigators led by Brazilian expert Paulo Pinheiro said in their latest 10-page report.

Syrian government forces have increased their use of aerial bombardments, including shelling of hospitals, and evidence suggests that such attacks are "disproportionate," they said.

The conduct of hostilities by both sides is "increasingly in breach of international law," they added.

The UN report covers the period between Sept. 28 and Dec. 16.

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