United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has decided to investigate "a series of incidents" in northwest Syria since the establishment of a de-escalation zone last September, his spokesman said Thursday.
Guterres has decided to establish an internal "UN Headquarters Board of Inquiry" to probe these incidents, said Stephane Dujarric.
"The investigation will cover destruction of, or damage to facilities on the de-confliction list and UN-supported facilities in the area," Dujarric said. "The board will ascertain the facts of these incidents and report to the secretary-general upon the completion of its work."
He said the UN chief urges all parties concerned to cooperate with the board.
Syria's northwestern province of Idlib is the last major stronghold held by rebels.
In September 2018, Russia and Turkey brokered a de-escalation zone for Idlib. However, fighting intensified again in late April in the province.
However, on Tuesday, Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said the intensified bombing in Idlib had been hitting civilian targets in the past three months, destroying at least 17 villages.
Citing the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, he told the Security Council that at least 450 civilians have been killed in Idlib since late April, including more than a hundred in the last two weeks alone, and over 440,000 have been displaced.
Bombing on civilian locations, including health and humanitarian facilities, took place despite the fact that their coordinates had been shared with the parties to the conflict through the UN de-confliction system.
"Whether the information provided through the de-confliction system is being used by the parties to protect civilian facilities from attack or to target them for attack is an extremely important question," Lowcock said.
Also on Tuesday, two thirds of the 15 council members signed a demarche requesting Guterres to initiate the investigation.