From Katherine Hayes:

UN Human Rights officials are looking to create a resolution calling for investigations into human rights developments and war crime claims in Syria. This comes in the midst of the Russian cease-fire, interesting as Russia is presumably responsible for the majority of civilian casualties in eastern Syria. UN official Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the official calling for war crime investigations, was quoted as saying, “no hypothetical advantage in global gamesmanship could possibly outweigh this pain and horror… every party should know they will be held accountable for the international crimes they commit.” Mr. al-Hussein called upon the Security Council to refer the conflict to the International Criminal Court, backed by Britain, the US, and other countries wanting an end to the Syrian conflict.

Another interesting development comes from the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, who offered to escort rebel Syrian fighters to another province if the Syrian government allowed other fighters and civilians to remain in Aleppo and govern themselves. This is an interesting possibility, but one that does not seem very likely to engage both sides of the conflict.

In the midst of the cease-fire, reports state that very few citizens in Aleppo have chosen to leave the city to become refugees. This temporary pause in the fighting, which Russia has agreed to for a minimum of four days, is not enough to take care of months of siege. Humanitarian efforts are at a standstill amidst fears the cease-fire will not last long enough to get necessary supplies to the civilians, and to conduct emergency medical evacuations.

Was this call for an investigation a strategic move on the UN’s part as a way to possibly stall the conflict, in hopes of catching Russia and Syria’s attention at a time of relative calm? Is this possible investigation likely to do anything to help end the five-year conflict?

Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/22/world/middleeast/syira-aleppo-un.html?ref=world&_r=0

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