UN accuses Syria of using chlorine gas28 August 2014 BBC Online
The United Nations has accused the Syrian government of using chemical agents in eight separate incidents in a new report on war crimes there.
The UN also says Islamic State (IS) militants carried out frequent public executions that civilians, including children, were forced to watch.
Islamic State, which now controls a large part of Syria, is one of the groups fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The conflict is in its fourth year.
The period covered in the report coincides with the growth of the Islamic State group in Syria.
The findings are the result of six months of interviews and evidence collected between January and July of this year as part of an inquiry into human rights violations inside Syria.
Investigators said that Islamic State (IS) forces in northern Syria are waging a campaign to instil fear, including amputations, public executions and whippings.
"Bodies of those killed are placed on display for several days, terrorising the local population. Women have been lashed for not abiding by IS's dress code. In Raqqa, children as young as 10 are being recruited and trained at IS camps," the report said.
Paulo Pinheiro, the chairman of the commission, warned of grave implications for the entire region.
"The international community's failure in its most elemental duties - to protect civilians, halt and prevent atrocities and create a path toward accountability - has been matched on the ground by an abandonment of even the pretence of an adherence to norms of international law," he said.
The investigators have warned that there is a real threat that the dangers from the conflict, which have already advanced to Iraq, could spread further across the entire region.