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Assad regime squeezed by 'unrelenting' war

Dec. 20, 2012 at 2:55 PM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- "Unrelenting violence in Syria" has lead to thousands of civilian deaths and destruction on a "massive scale," a commission of inquiry found.

The U.N. Security Council has been unable to pass a formal resolution censuring the Syrian government for assaults on the civilian population. Russia, which holds veto power, says resolutions drafted so far lack balance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday, however, he didn't care about "the fate of the regime" in Damascus, reports state-run news agency RIA Novosti. He warned, however, that "agreements on the basis of a military victory are inappropriate here and cannot be effective."

An independent commission of inquiry on Syria released a 10-page report on the conflict Thursday.

"The unrelenting violence in Syria has resulted in thousands of deaths, untold thousands of wounded, detained and disappeared and physical destruction on a massive scale," the document stated.

The fate of the administration of Syrian President Bashar Assad has come into question as civil war descends on Damascus. NATO forces have deployed Patriot missiles along the Turkish border as a precaution.

The commission's report states that some northern and central provinces in Syria are under the control of anti-government forces.

"Armed groups in governorates such as Idlib, Latakia and Aleppo have been able to coordinate effectively, both with each other and with unified local military councils," the report reads. "Further, they are equipped with increasingly efficient military assets allowing them to mount a serious challenge to the government forces' authority."

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