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Statement attributable to the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

15 February 2016 - The Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic has primarily focused on the investigation, verification and reporting of serious human rights violations by all parties to the armed conflict. It has done so according to a rigorous methodology designed to protect the Commission's fairness, impartiality and independence.

Recently, certain comments made in the media by one Commissioner have been misconstrued by numerous sources as an endorsement of the actions of a party to the armed conflict. It should be stressed that these personal comments were intended to generally voice the Commissioner's support for the fight against terrorism while underlining the necessity to take greater measures to protect civilians.

The Commission members have made concerted efforts never to take sides in the conflict, except that of the victims.

There can be no military solution to the present armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic. Rather, there is now an urgent need to de-escalate military engagement and actions particularly those that have an impact on civilians. Their protection is an essential element of this approach, particularly the need for all parties to the armed conflict to adhere to the principles of distinction and proportionality.