The UN says that a deadly attack on a bus convoy carrying people from two Shia-majority villages in the Idlib province amounts to a war crime.
“We add our voice to the condemnation of the attack near Rashideen near western rural Aleppo Governorate that hit a convoy carrying people from the besieged Syrian towns of Kefraya and Foua villages to government-controlled areas, killing dozens of people. It is an attack which likely amounts to a war crime,” said a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville, on Tuesday.
He added that the UN has still not been able to determine who was behind the Saturday attack that killed over 100 people and injured many more, in which a bomber blew up an explosive-laden car.
“We reiterate the High Commissioner’s call for accountability and the need to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court,” he added.
Colville noted that the OHCHR has been informed that a number of the civilians injured in the attacks are still missing. “Some are believed to have been taken by armed opposition groups to opposition-controlled hospitals in Idleb Governorate… their families are concerned for their safety,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the UN Security Council also condemned the attack as a “barbaric and cowardly” action, expressing sympathies and condolences to the victim’s families.
In late March, the Syrian government and militant groups struck a deal that envisaged the transfer of 16,000 people from Foua and Kefraya in exchange for the evacuation of militants and their families from al-Zabadani and Madaya towns in the southwestern province of Rif Dimashq.
Residents of Foua and Kefraya were agreed to be transferred to the outskirts of Aleppo City, the coastal province of Latakia or Damascus, while the gunmen and their families would leave for Idlib City.