UN Chief: Aleppo Brutality May be Crimes Against Humanity (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari, Canada 08/04/12)
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The reported brutality in Syria´s biggest city, Aleppo, where forces
loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels continue to face
off in bloody clashes, may amount to crimes against humanity, the UN
chief said on Friday.
“As we meet here, Aleppo ... is the epicenter of a vicious battle
between the Syrian government and those who wish to replace it,”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was quoted by Reuters as having told
the 193-nation UN General Assembly.
“The acts of brutality that are being reported may constitute crimes
against humanity or war crimes,” Ban said. “Such acts must be
investigated and the perpetrators held to account.”
He reiterated his concern about the deadlock on the UN Security
Council. Last month Russia and China joined forces in their third
double veto to strike down a resolution that would have called for an
end to the violence and threatened Damascus with sanctions.
“I have said many times how much I regret the divisions that have
paralyzed action in the Security Council,” Ban said.
He repeated that he intended to replace UN-Arab League mediator Kofi
Annan, who announced on Thursday his intention to step down at the
end of August. Annan said the deadlock on the 15-nation council was
among the factors that had undermined his peace efforts.
“Despite repeated verbal acceptances of the (Annan´s) six-point
(peace) plan endorsed by the UN Security Council, both the government
and the opposition continue to rely on weapons, not diplomacy, in the
belief that they will win through violence,” Ban said.
“But there are no winners in Aleppo today, nor anywhere else in the
country,” he said. “The losers in this escalating battle are the
people of Syria.”
Meanwhile on Friday, Syrian forces stormed the last rebel stronghold
in the capital Damascus in tanks and armored vehicles and blasted
artillery at rebels in Aleppo.
Rebels told Reuters that they had captured a large police station
after days of clashes. Rebel commander Abu Zaher said fighters had
taken several police officers prisoner and seized weapons and
Other rebels said heavy fighting was taking place in Saleheddine, the
main battleground district, where they estimated 20 civilians had
been killed. They said 50 of their fighters have been killed there in
the last several days.
In the capital, Reuters reported, Syrian troops entered Damascus´s
southern district of Tadamon. Activists said most of the district was
under the control of government forces by early Friday evening. The
army had been trying to enter Tadamon for more than a week but was
pushed back by fierce resistance from the rebels.
An activist said the troops had executed several people after
entering the district. The account could not be confirmed.
Elsewhere in the country, opposition activists told Reuters that
Syrian forces had killed at least 50 people during clashes with
rebels in the central city of Hama on Thursday, while a helicopter
bombardment killed 16 rebels near the southern town of Deraa.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2011 08/04/12)
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