GENEVA, The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has condemned Daesh terrorist attacks on residents of As-Sweida in southwest Syria, killing and injuring more than 200 people.

UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani told a press conference that scores of Daesh militants also raided homes in at least eight villages in eastern and northeastern rural As-Sweida, shooting and killing civilians inside their homes and abducting women and children. "We have received the names of at least 27 women and children who were reportedly taken hostage from Al-Shbiki village, although we believe the real number is likely to be much higher," she said.

Quoting eyewitnesses, she added that Daesh initially took women from a handful of houses and used them to knock on doors of their neighbours, then killing and abducting more civilians in their homes. "Photos of some of these abducted women were later tweeted, with threats to burn them alive if the government did not cease military operations against Daesh in western Daraa governorate and release Daesh women and men in government custody," she told.

Shamdasani warned that the situation in As-Sweida might become worse due to the lack of confidence of local communities in the Syrian regime, demanding that the Syrian government should take all necessary measures in line with international human rights and humanitarian law to protect civilians.

Source: Emirates News Agency