Syrian forces continue to commit gross human rights violations in an “increasingly militarized context” despite a shaky six-week-old ceasefire..
As many as 23 people have been killed on Thursday by the fire of Syrian forces across the country.
According to Reuters, Syrian army and security services committed most of the crimes documented since March, including heavy shelling and executions, as part of military or search operations in areas known to host defectors or fighters.
Armed rebels also executed or tortured captured soldiers and pro-government supporters.
The Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, established by the U.N. Human Rights Council last year to investigate abuses there since the crackdown, reported that
Children were frequently among those killed and wounded during attacks on protests and the bombardment of towns and villages by state forces.
Security forces used lethal force against demonstrations in Aleppo, Damascus, Deraa, Hama, Homs, Idlib and in numerous villages across the country since March, the report said.
“Other unlawful killings took place during government military operations undertaken to weed out defectors, anti-government armed groups, their families and other opponents perceived to be supporting anti-government armed groups.”
On the ground, Syrian regime forces pounded the town of Rastan in central Homs province on Thursday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Government forces have been trying to overrun Rastan for 11 consecutive days, after rebel fighters from the battered central city of Homs regrouped in the town that straddles the main highway linking Damascus to the north.
Speaking to AFP via Skype on Wednesday, Abu Rawan, an opposition activist in Rastan, said there was no electricity in the besieged town, and a shortage of food and water.
Abu Rawan was not reachable for comment on Thursday morning.
Meanwhile the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) says it has accepted the resignation of its president, Burhan Ghalioun, who has led the movement since it was established last September.
Last week, Mr Ghalioun, whose leadership of the SNC has been criticised by other opposition activists, said he would step down if a replacement leader could be found.
But it is not clear who that new leader will be, says the BBC's Jonathan Head in Istanbul.
The SNC - which is based in Turkey - is more of a coalition than a unified movement, embracing a diverse range of opposition groups, and finding someone acceptable to all of them was difficult, our correspondent says.
Many of the armed insurgent groups operating loosely under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army have refused to accept the authority of the exiled SNC leadership.
The SNC has also been criticised for its failure to win greater international support for the Syrian uprising