Syria: more UN assembly speeches, one less UNESCO site
Fierce fighting in Aleppo left a UNESCO World Heritage Site in tatters as world leaders left the UN General Assembly meeting no closer to a resolution for the 19-month conflict.
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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.
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Heavy shelling rocked Damascus and other towns today, just a day after the closing of the week-long United Nations General Assembly meeting, where world leaders spent countless hours calling for an end to the deadly Syrian crisis and Syria’s foreign minister accused members of trying to impose colonial policies on his country.
Anti-government activists reported shelling in Daraa, Idlib, and the Damascus suburb of Douma today, and at least 17 people were killed this morning as a result of the violence, according to the opposition's Local Coordination Committees of Syria. Fierce fighting in Aleppo, which began in the city's Souk al-Medina over the weekend and continued into yesterday, left the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, smoldering.
At the close of the General Assembly yesterday, no diplomatic resolution was reached on Syria, despite more than seven days of speeches where “Syria was discussed by one country after another,” reports the Associated Press.
From Albania, whose diplomats said Syrians “are suffering a primitive bloodshed by a regime that has irreversibly lost its legitimacy to lead,” to Zambia, whose diplomats said, “Humanity has again been embarrassed by this unnecessary carnage,” there were few speeches that didn’t include some criticism of the conflict, which has now entered its 19th month and killed between 20,000 and 30,000 people, according to the UN and activists.
But Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem countered the many calls to end Syria’s civil war in a speech in front of the General Assembly yesterday, where he accused “some well-known countries” of pursuing “new colonial policies based on political hypocrisy,” and supporting terrorism in Syria, according to Syria's state-run Day Press News. The Syrian government often refers to rebel fighters in the country as terrorists. Mr. Moallem continued: