The United Nations human rights chief has condemned Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad for his regime’s relentless brutality against civilian protesters and urged the UN to take decisive action against Damascus.
The UN General Assembly is convening an emergency meeting in New York on Monday, after Syria again rejected another proposal by the Arab League to establish a peacekeeping force in the troubled country.
Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has explicitly charges that the failure of the UN to find a consensus to move against Assad has encouraged the Damascus regime to take even more aggressive assaults against their own people with impunity.
The failure of the Security Council to agree on firm collective action appears to have emboldened the Syrian government to plan an all out assault in an effort to crush resistance with overwhelming force,” Pillay told UN delegates.
The nature and scale of abuses committed by Syrian forces indicate that crimes against humanity are likely to have been committed... I am particularly appalled by the ongoing violence in Homs.
Indeed, according to human rights activists, at least 400 people have died in the recent offensive by Assad’s soldiers in the resistance hub of Homs, adding to the more than 7,000 Syrian who have died since the revolt erupted almost one year ago.
Pillay added that given Syria’s refusal to allow foreign media members into the country, it is impossible to independently verify casualty figures.
We are certain that the number of dead and injured continues to rise every day, she said. The risk of a humanitarian crisis throughout Syria is rising.”
However, Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, assailed Pillay’s description of the situation in his native land and blamed the violence on armed protesters.
Buildings have been mined by some of these terrorist groups,” said Bashar Ja'afari: We in Syria could not imagine sending soldiers to defend Occupy Wall Street protesters. This isn't peaceful demonstration - this is violence.
Meanwhile, Russia and China, two Security Council members which have already vetoed a US resolution against Assad, again urged caution.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow: The problem is that the armed groups that are fighting the Syrian regime do not answer to anyone and are not controlled by anyone. In other words, it is necessary to agree to something like a ceasefire, but the tragedy is that the armed groups that are confronting the forces of the regime are not subordinate to anyone and are not under control.”
Nonetheless, Lavrov is reportedly mulling the new Arab League proposal.
Similarly, China said it would not support foreign intervention in Syrian affairs.
A spokesman for the foreign ministry in Beijing, Liu Weimin, said: China hopes all relevant parties can keep dialogue and communication to play a positive and constructive role in politically resolving the Syrian issue and easing the country's tension.