Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth speaks during a interview with Reuters in Geneva, Switzerland, April 9, 2018. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy
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A suspected chemical attack on civilians in Syria is a war crime that bears the hallmarks of Bashar Assad's government, but its ally Russia shares potential criminal responsibility for its use, the head of Human Rights Watch said Monday.These constituted grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions which should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) or by a future special court on Syria, said Roth, an American lawyer who has headed the group since 1993 .Russia has been the main ally of Assad providing men and military equipment in his seven-year fight against rebels.Some witnesses have reported that a Syrian government helicopter dropped a chemical cylinder that was later found, Roth said.U.N. war crimes investigators have documented more than two dozen uses of deadly chemical weapons by Syrian government forces since the war began in March 2011 .
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