BEIRUT -- UN investigators warned Wednesday that a war against some 10,000 extremists in northwestern Syria should not take 3 million people hostages. They added that the expected attack by Syrian troops on Idlib province would make other battles in the country look minor.
The UN Commission of Inquiry said government forces carried out three chemical weapons attacks in Syria and that violence displaced the largest number of people the year, the largest since the conflict began in 2011.
It warned that an attack on Idlib "with little regard for civilian life would generate a catastrophic human rights and humanitarian crisis." It called on parties to the conflict to protect civilians, as required by international humanitarian law.