Refugee flow soars as Syrians flee intense fighting between rebels, Assad forces
The UN says that more than 11,000 people fled Syria overnight, and is warning that by early 2013, some 4 million inside Syria could need humanitarian aid.
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Ahmed Ben Helli, deputy head of the Arab League which is brokering the meeting with Qatar, told reporters that delegates had been urged to overcome the sharp divides that have dogged their efforts to unseat Assad.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.
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"The opposition is urged to agree on a leading body which would have credibility among the Syrian people and the international community," he said.
Earlier this week the US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that Washington wants "an opposition that represents more of the groups, more of the geographic representation, more of those who have been involved on the ground with local coordinating councils, with revolution councils," reports The Christian Science Monitor.
Despite the fractured opposition, some say it is in fact Washington that is unprepared for what could come from a post-Assad Syria, the Monitor reports.
"Deep inside, I think it's like the US wishes Assad to stay," says Nadim Shehadi, a Middle East expert at the Chatham House think tank in London. "The challenge is not with the opposition unifying. The challenge is that they're knocking at a door that won't open, which is American support."
Today marks the fifth Syria Humanitarian Forum in Geneva, where close to 400 international organizations, governments, and aid organizations will convene to discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria.
“People need to be aware of just how desperate the situation is inside Syria for the people there, how unbearable it is, and how they are suffering and falling into ever deeper despair and humanitarian need,” said the operations director for the UN humanitarian office, John Ging, according to the Associated Press.
“It’s just getting a lot worse very rapidly for the ordinary people.”
The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced the organization is struggling to cope with the needs in Syria, according to the Times.
"The humanitarian situation is getting worse despite the scope of the operation increasing," Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC told reporters. "We can't cope with the worsening of the situation."