News / Middle East

    UN Chief Demands Unimpeded Access to Besieged Syrian City

    This video image taken from amateur video and broadcast by Bambuser/Homslive shows a series of devastating explosions rocking the central Syrian city of Homs, Syria, Monday, June 11, 2012. This video image taken from amateur video and broadcast by Bambuser/Homslive shows a series of devastating explosions rocking the central Syrian city of Homs, Syria, Monday, June 11, 2012.
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    This video image taken from amateur video and broadcast by Bambuser/Homslive shows a series of devastating explosions rocking the central Syrian city of Homs, Syria, Monday, June 11, 2012.
    This video image taken from amateur video and broadcast by Bambuser/Homslive shows a series of devastating explosions rocking the central Syrian city of Homs, Syria, Monday, June 11, 2012.
    VOA News
    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is demanding Syrian authorities grant  the U.N. "unimpeded access" to the besieged city of Haffeh, where civilians are said to be trapped.

    U.N. monitors report Syrian forces are using helicopters to attack the rebel-held city and that civilians are caught in the crossfire.

    Mr. Ban's office said Monday that he expressed deep concern over the "dangerous intensification" of the fighting in Syria over the past few days, and called for the bloodshed and fighting to stop at once.

    U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan says he is "gravely concerned" about the violence in  Haffeh and Homs where rebels have been attacked by artillery, helicopters, tanks and mortars. Monday was the first time the U.N. said it could verify activists' reports that Syrian military helicopters were attacking the rebels.

    U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said officials are deeply alarmed about reports from inside Syria that the government may be planning another massacre of civilians in at least six places.

    "Syrian forces have already escalated their oppression in direct defiance of their commitments to the Annan plan by using now new, horrific tactics, including the firing on civilians from the air by helicopters. Added to the use of irregular forces, the shabiha, this constitutes a very serious escalation," she said.

    Violence across the country Monday claimed more than 60 lives, according to activists' reports, but it has been impossible to confirm the toll independently. There are reports of an aerial assault by government forces targeting the strategic river city of Rastan, which has resisted government offensives for months.

    Rami Abdul-Rahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said security forces began increasingly relying on helicopter attacks after government troops suffered major losses in recent battles.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Susan Patterson
    June 12, 2012 9:35 PM
    Either the U.N. is naive or just plain stupid. The Assad dictatorship is in the middle of wholesale genocide of the Sunni community of Syria. Asking Assad to be transparent during this time is like asking Hitler to close the Concentration camps in 1944. It is not going to happen. Assad will not stop his murdering spree until every Sunni in Syria is exterminated. It is as simple as that. Either the Western Nations invade Syria and stop the killing or watch the Syrian Sunni community join the Passenger Pigeon, the Wooly Mammoth and the Dodo Bird as extinct species in the world.

    by: george pavlakis from: las vegas
    June 12, 2012 8:55 PM
    Where the hell was the UN the time the US forces killed hundred of thousands civilians in IRAQ??
    Where the HELL the UN was and IS the time the PROUD US forces kill the women and Children in PAKISTAN every day ??.
    Where the HELL the UN are the time the US forces kill thousand people in Afghanistan??

    by: Mr. Blow from: Washington
    June 12, 2012 9:13 AM
    Dr. Observer & Citizen of the World - Saudi & Qatar are financing the opposition, not Israel or the U.S. The Syrian people are fighting for freedom. China is trying to bully other countries over their islands and should accept that they are no better. "Citizen" is just a drooling weirdo.

    by: John from: Lagos
    June 12, 2012 6:13 AM
    NATO never granted the UN unimpeded access to Libyan cities until the job was finished. Please Ban Ki Moon or Sun, allow the Syrian government to finish the job before you go in to do clean up.

    by: buck mast from: Tennessee
    June 12, 2012 12:11 AM
    I am sure because the infamous U.N. demands anything that Syria is really worried

    by: Ron from: Florida
    June 12, 2012 12:05 AM
    I feel that this is a time when you take action and ask questions later, if not too late. These folks are like you and me but we are not under fire...I say get on in there guys

    by: DrObserver from: China
    June 11, 2012 11:10 PM
    Civil wars are still wars . . extreme politics [the business of controlling resources and privilege] . . . so why are certain governments vilified and others given a "free pass" [as the Shah of Iran, Suharto and Sukarno in Indonesia, etc.]? Just politics . . . propaganda by those who want what others have. How about we compare the atrocities by Americans ON Americans?? ahhhhh yes . . . that is different . . . like torture, chemical warfare, plastic fragmentation bombs in Haiphong.

    by: DSA from: San Diego, CA
    June 11, 2012 10:53 PM
    The U.N. is USELESS!!!!

    by: Citizen of the World from: Everywhere Man
    June 11, 2012 10:39 PM
    Lets have the USG and the media answer the first question. Arab Spring? Is there really an Arab Spring people movement? The Plot to Overthrow by mohammad goldstein bluntly tells the world who a Jew IS and what a Muslim really IS; Obama has a copy, get it for nuttin on the net it will blow your political mind about Americas role and is laced with “inside” truth about Washington,

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