Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Syria Death Toll Is Staggering Says Envoy

The death toll in Syria is "staggering" and the destruction is reaching "catastrophic proportions", the new UN-Arab League envoy has said.

Lakhdar Brahimi said he would go to Damascus "in a few days" but warned that the conflict is "deteriorating steadily".

"The death toll is staggering, the destruction is reaching catastrophic proportions and the suffering of the people is immense," he said in a brief speech to the UN assembly.

"The future of Syria will be built by its people and none other," the 78-year-old diplomat added. "The support of the international community is indispensable and very urgent. It will only be effective if all pull in the same direction."

UN leader Ban Ki-moon also accused countries who send arms to Syria of spreading "misery" as he called for greater international efforts to end the war and ease a mounting humanitarian crisis.

"Those who provide arms to either side are only contributing to further misery - and the risk of unintended consequences as the fighting intensifies and spreads," he said.

Mr Ban did not name any country, but Russia is President Bashar al Assad's main arms supplier while UN officials say Iran has made arms deliveries to his forces. Read More