People flee a damaged site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's district of al-Sukari. Picture: Hosam Katan

Geneva -

A UN commission on Syrian war crimes is sounding the alarm that the entire region is on the brink of war.

The head of the UN Commission of Inquiry, Brazilian diplomat and scholar Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, says “the conflict in Syria has reached a tipping point, threatening the entire region.”

In a report on Tuesday his commission said “a regional war in the Middle East draws ever closer” as Sunni insurgents advance across Iraq to control areas bridging the Iraq-Syria frontier - drawing in Washington and Tehran.

It says Iraq's turmoil will have “violent repercussions” in Syria, most dangerously the rise of sectarian violence as “a direct consequence of the dominance of extremist groups.” - Sapa-AP