News / Middle East

UN Warns of Surge in Violence in Syria

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks at Damascus University, January 10, 2012.
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks at Damascus University, January 10, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Margaret Besheer

A senior United Nations official says 400 people have been killed in Syria since an Arab League monitoring mission deployed there late last month to investigate the ongoing political violence. The U.S. ambassador on Tuesday condemned the surge in violence, saying it is clear the Syrian government is massacring its own people in “cold blood.”

Diplomats said that U.N. political chief Lynn Pascoe told the Security Council that an average of 40 people per day have been killed since Arab League monitors arrived in Syria on December 26.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice condemned the violence and put the blame on President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

“That is a clear indication that the government of Syria, rather than using the opportunity of its commitment to the Arab League to end the violence and fulfill all of its commitments under the protocol, is instead stepping up the violence, despite the presence of monitors, and carrying out further acts of brutality against its population, even often in the presence of those monitors,” said Rice.

Rice repeated the Obama administration’s call for Assad to step aside and she criticized his speech on Tuesday, in which he again blamed foreign conspirators for months of protests and violence, saying his government would crush terrorism with an “iron fist.”

Rice also expressed concern about reports that at least two Kuwaitis who are a part of the Arab League monitoring mission were injured in Syria by pro-government elements.

Syria’s U.N. envoy Bashar al-Ja’afari told reporters that the death toll continues to climb because of instigation and incitement by foreign countries, including some on the Security Council. As for the injured Arab League monitors, he questioned who was responsible for the incidents.

“There is no Syrian interest whatsoever to harm the credibility and the safety and the security of the Arab envoys. This is why you have to look at those who perpetrated these attacks against some of the Arab envoys on the other side,” said Ja’afari.

Western diplomats have stepped up calls to revive negotiations on a draft Security Council resolution condemning the violence and expressing support for the Arab League initiative to restore peace.

Work on the Russian sponsored text has gone into a “deep freeze” since late December, according to one diplomat. Some diplomats say they are awaiting the outcome of a report by the Arab League on the monitoring mission, which is expected on January 19, before going further.

The United Nations says more than 5,000 people have died since the Syrian anti-government protests began last March.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid