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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Invasion of Syria in the cards? Following Syria massacre, UN envoy urges Security Council to act

A Free Syrian Army fighter stands in front of a building destroyed by a Syrian Air force air strike in the Haresta neighborhood of Damascus on January 29, 2013. — Reuters Photo

UNITED NATIONS: Syria’s war has reached “unprecedented levels of horror”, UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said after dozens of men were found slaughtered, just ahead of a donors’ conference for the devastated country.
Brahimi told the divided UN Security Council Tuesday it had to act now to halt the carnage epitomized by the at least 78 young men, each killed with a single bullet and dumped in a river in the battlefront city of Aleppo.
More bodies were still to be retrieved from the water.
Syrian rebels blamed President Bashar al Assad’s government for the killings, but state media said a religious militant opposition faction was to blame.
Syria “is breaking up before everyone’s eyes,” Brahimi told the council’s 15 ambassadors.
“Only the international community can help, and first and foremost the Security Council.”
Twenty-two months of conflict have now left well over 60,000 dead, according to the United Nations, which is seeking $1.5 billion in humanitarian funding for beleaguered Syrians at a conference in Kuwait on Wednesday.
“The tragedy does not have an end,” Brahimi said.
The Assad government’s legitimacy has been “irreparably damaged,” Brahimi said, warning, however, that it could still cling to power.
Assad’s forces had become more repressive, the former Algerian foreign minister was quoted as telling the closed meeting.
Both the state and the rebel opposition were committing “equally atrocious crimes”, he added.
He also warned of the conflict spilling over into neighboring countries.
“None of the neighbors is immune to the fallout consequences of the conflict.”
“Syria is being destroyed bit by bit,” Brahimi told reporters after briefing the Security Council.
“And in destroying Syria, the region is being pushed into a situation that is extremely bad and extremely important for the entire world,” he added.
“That is why I believe the Security Council simply cannot continue to say ‘we are (in) disagreement, therefore, let’s wait for better times’. I think they have got to grapple with this problem now.”
But US ambassador Susan Rice said “the same issues that have stymied the council to date remain unresolved, so there is no obvious way forward.”
The Security Council has been paralysed on Syria for more than a year.
Russia and China have vetoed three Western-drafted resolutions which would simply have threatened sanctions.
Russia accuses the West of seeking regime change through force and insists it cannot make Assad stand down. The United States and its allies back the opposition stance that there can be no talks with Assad.
Read More: Following Syria massacre, UN envoy urges Security Council to act | World | DAWN.COM

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