A general view shows several destroyed buildings in Douma, in the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus on March 5, 2018. AFP/Amer al-Mohibany
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Airstrikes by Russia and a U.S.-led coalition killed civilians in Syria on a large scale last year, while the Assad government carried out unlawful chemical weapon attacks in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, U.N. war crimes investigators said Tuesday.Daesh (ISIS) militants and other insurgent groups committed war crimes including deadly attacks on civilians and using them as human shields, the investigators said in their latest report covering six months through Jan. 15 .Pinheiro, commenting on the Russian strike, said under international humanitarian law, using certain weapons in civilian areas automatically amounts to the war crime of indiscriminate attacks because of the nature of the weapons used.The U.N. investigators had previously documented 33 chemical weapons attacks in Syria.Neighboring countries and global powers have entered the conflict, backing allied forces on the ground.The U.S. joined the war in 2014, leading an international coalition carrying out airstrikes against Daesh militants in both Syria and Iraq, who were largely defeated last year.
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