Syria Accused of Crimes against Humanity

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- In a report released Friday, the U.N.'s Human Rights Watch urged the Arab League to suspend Syria's membership in light of its crimes against humanity, especially in Homs, the country's third largest city.

"The systematic nature of abuses against civilians in Homs by Syrian government forces, including torture and unlawful killings, constitute crimes against humanity," HRW said in a statement, Reuters reported.

Since the Arab League's Nov. 2 announcement alleging that Syrian President Bashar Assad agreed to end the crackdown, government troops have killed more than 100 civilians in Homs. More than 600 civilians were killed in Homs between April and August, according to the report.

"Homs is a microcosm of the Syrian government's brutality," HRW Mideast Director Sarah Leah Whitson said.

"The Arab League needs to tell President Assad that violating their agreement has consequences and that it now supports [U.N.] Security Council action to end the carnage," she added.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman for Near East affairs, said Assad's regime is nearing an end.

"Almost all the Arab leaders, foreign ministers who I talk to say the same thing," Feltman told a Senate committee, Israel Hayom reported. "Assad's rule is coming to an end. It is inevitable."

"Some of these Arabs have even begun to offer Assad safe haven to encourage him to leave quickly," Feltman told committee members.

Since mid-March, human rights groups estimate at least 3,500 civilians have been killed.

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