United Nations Compiles Syrian War Criminal List It Can't Enforce

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It's sort of exciting that the United Nations has a secret list of Syrian officials that it may probe for war crimes in the International Criminal Court, but even they admit that the list (just like their resolution against Syrian violence) is worthless at the moment. 

The AP, which dismissively calls the list a "deterrent," reports that a list of secret names goes up as high as President Bashar al-Assad.  For many, seeing Assad face a hearing for the relentless violence in Syria would be considered justice. But for that to happen, Syria would need to be a part of the ICC, which it isn't or the U.N. Security Council would need to get involved. Judging by Russia's veto-spree, that's not happening. In December, The Guardian reported that Assad and company should only fear the ICC if they lose Russia's and China's support. An expert did tell the AP that anyone on the list traveling from Syria to a country with membership in the ICC could be tried and prosecuted. Though, just to be clear, if the accused war criminals stay in the Syria, it's not likely that the U.N. or the ICC can touch them.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.