Syrian army chiefs ordered killings

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The Independent Online

Dozens of Syrian military commanders and officials authorised or gave direct orders for widespread killings, torture and illegal arrests during the wave of anti-government protests that began nine months ago, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.

More than 60 army defectors interviewed by the charity identified 74 commanders behind the abuse. "Defectors gave us names, ranks, and positions of those who gave the orders to shoot and kill, and each and every official named in this report, up to the very highest levels of the Syrian government, should answer for their crimes against the Syrian people," Anna Neistat, HRW's associate director for emergencies, said.