France opens war crimes inquiry against Assad regime: sources

A Syrian man carries two girls covered with dust following a reported air strike by government forces on July 9, 2014 in the northern city of AleppoFrench authorities have launched a criminal probe of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for alleged war crimes committed between 2011 and 2013, sources said. The announcement comes as the four-year war in Syria takes centre-stage at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have clashed over how to bring an end to the crisis. French President Francois Hollande has joined Obama in insisting Assad cannot play a role in the country’s future, against opposition from Damascus’s allies Russia and Iran.

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