UN envoy to Syria: Assad thinks he can turn back the clock (+video)
UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi told diplomats in New York that the situation in Syria is dire, and described the conflict's particularly heavy toll on children.
(Page 2 of 2)
Rebels have increasingly targeted security sites and other symbols of the regime’s power, including a bombing that killed four senior-level government officials in July, reports the AP. Today, the rebels expected high casualties after the bombing, but were unable to confirm reports of deaths, Reuters reports.Skip to next paragraph
Latin America Editor
Whitney Eulich is the Monitor's Latin America editor, overseeing regional coverage for CSMonitor.com and the weekly magazine. She also curates the Latin America Monitor Blog.
In Pictures Reaching a critical juncture in Syria
Russia puts security stranglehold on Crimea as referendum nears (+video)
Taliban tell Afghan voters to stay home ahead of presidential election
Malaysia Airlines plane missing: Stolen passports raise suspicions of terrorism (+video)
EU gets tougher on Russia, but is Germany putting brakes on stronger sanctions?
NATO airstrike that kills Afghan soldiers deals fresh blow to ties
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
“There were several officers present, and we are hoping they will be part of a large number of killed in this operation,” Abu Moaz, a leader of Ansar al-Islam, one of the rebel groups attempting to overthrow President Assad in Syria, told Reuters.
At least 60 people, including 27 civilians, 22 soldiers, and 11 rebels, were killed in the violence in Syria yesterday, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
In addition to high death tolls – the UN estimates more than 20,000 people have been killed in the conflict thus far – Brahimi noted in his report to the Security Council yesterday an impending threat of food insecurity after a bad harvest in Syria this year, the “medieval” torture enacted on detainees, and damage to all but 200 of the 2,200 schools in the country, according to Agence France-Presse.
The impact that the civil war has had on children is a big concern as well. The Syrian Observatory on Human Rights estimates some 2,000 kids have been killed in the conflict.
British-based charity Save the Children launched a story-telling project today highlighting how the conflict has uniquely affected the youngest echelons of Syrian society. The CEO of Save the Children, Justin Forsyth, wrote an opinion in the Telegraph today noting:
Our teams on the ground, working with refugees who have fled the horror of war, hear stories of children who have seen loved ones killed in front of them, of children being used as human shields, of instances of torture where children have been hung from the ceiling and beaten, of schools being targeted, and in one case, of a six year old who was tortured and denied food and water until he died.
Their experiences confirm Syria’s war is proving devastating for children.
Some blame the ongoing violence on the international community’s inability to come together on a resolution.
"Children should be going back to school, but instead they are suffering extreme violence," said Abdel Rahman from the Syrian Observatory on Human Rights, who also noted children are being traumatized by the violence. "This would not be possible were the international community not silenced by its paralysis.”
Some 120 heads of state are gathering in New York for the UN General Assembly, and although questions about Syria have caused numerous stalemates in the past – Russia and China have vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions – many hope today’s debate will provide an opportunity for the emergence of new ideas on drawing down the conflict.