US envoy rejects claim of 'war crime' by key UN Syria panel

GENEVA (AP) — The United States' top envoy for Syria has rejected findings by U.N.-backed investigators that deadly airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition earlier this year may amount to a war crime.

Ambassador James Jeffrey said Thursday the coalition takes "extreme care in every military operation we do."

Investigators working for the U.N.'s top human rights body suggested a day earlier that coalition airstrikes on Jan. 3 near the town of Shafaa that killed 16 civilians may have not been directed at a military objective or may not have been conducted with the "necessary precaution."

Jeffrey said: "We do not accept the findings of that particular body."

He spoke after the U.N. Syria envoy hosted envoys from Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United States for talks in Geneva.