United Nations investigator discusses atrocities in Syria
The man charged by the United Nations with investigating atrocities committed in Syria says he has "run out of words to describe the gravity of the crimes" there. Over the past three years, more than 100 000 Syrians have lost their lives in the escalating conflict between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule. The bloody internal conflict has destroyed whole neighbourhoods and forced more than nine million people from their homes. Three million of them have fled across Syria's borders to escape the bloody civil war - one of the the largest forced migrations since the Second World War. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, who chairs the United Nations' investigative panel on Syria, recently presented the eighth report in the past three years to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. It says the civil war has reached new depths of madness, with worsening atrocities committed by both Islamic extremists, known as Islamic State militants, and pro-government forces.