Jihadist rebels have carried out mass executions of detainees in Syria, UN human rights investigators say. The commission of inquiry's latest report documents several incidents blamed on the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Government forces are meanwhile accused of sharply increasing their use of indiscriminate weapons, such as barrel-bombs, against civilians. The report was released before a debate at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. In a separate development, the US state department told the Syrian government that it must immediately suspend its diplomatic and consular missions in the US and withdraw all personnel who were not US residents. The newly appointed US special envoy, Daniel Rubenstein, said the order was a response to the Syrian embassy's decision to suspend consular services, as well as the "atrocities the Assad regime has committed". 'Execution field'
The report by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria covers what it says were the "most egregious violations" of human rights committed between 20 January and 10 March. At the start of January, deadly clashes erupted when Western-backed and Islamist rebel groups launched co-ordinated attacks on ISIS strongholds in northern and north-eastern provinces of Syria.
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