February 12, 2013
UN Chief: Syria 'Self-Destructing'
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Syria is "self-destructing" and is calling on the Syrian government and the U.N. Security Council to take action.
In a lecture Monday to the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, Mr. Ban said, nearly two years into the crisis, the world no longer counts the days in hours, "but in bodies."
"Another day, another 100, 200, or 300 are dead. Fighting rages, sectarian hatred is on the rise. The catastrophe, the catalogue of war crimes is mounting. Sexual violence is widespread. The destruction is systematic. Syria is being torn apart, limb by limb."
He says the Security Council must be willing to unite to create the framework for a democratic transition in Syria. He called an offer by Syrian opposition leader Mouaz al-Khatib to hold talks with the government a "promising political approach."
The Security Council has been deadlocked on a response to the Syrian crisis, with permanent members Russia and China vetoing three resolutions against Syria.
The United Nations says at least 60,000 people have been killed since the conflict began.
Syria's state-run SANA news organization reported Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told a delegation of Jordanian activists and lawyers that the crisis will pass with Syria's "inevitable victory."
Earlier Monday, Turkish media said the explosion of a car near the border between Turkey and Syria killed at least 12 people and wounded nearly 30 others.
Officials say three of those killed were Turkish and the rest were Syrians.
Turkey's NTV news channel says the blast occurred on Turkish soil, about 40 meters from the Cilvegozu border crossing in the southern province of Hatay.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc says authorities are investigating all possible causes for the blast.
Several reports are quoting local Mayor Huseyin Sanverdi as saying a Syrian-registered car is believed to have been at the center of the blast.
The border area between the two countries has been the scene of fighting between rebels and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's military forces.