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U.N.: Syrians facing 'vicious' attacks

Jan. 21, 2013 at 11:56 AM

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Attacks on members of the civilian population in Syria during the country's ongoing civil war are sadistic, a U.N. humanitarian affairs official said.

The government of Syrian President Bashar Assad has remained defiant as the international community works to find a solution to a crisis that grew out of the so-called Arab Spring in early 2011.

U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos expressed concern about the "vicious indiscriminate nature of the violence that is taking place and the increasing levels of sexual violence."

The United Nations estimates at least 60,000 people have died as a result of war. Humanitarian workers have been unable to address the needs of the estimated 650,000 people displaced by conflict, she added.

"I'm deeply concerned that there has been no concrete action to address the situation," added U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Meanwhile, transport ships carrying the Patriot missile defense system arrived at Turkish ports Monday from Germany and the Netherlands, reports Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman.

NATO late last year agreed to send the missile system to Turkey to help its ally defend its borders against the brewing conflict in neighboring Syria. NATO leaders said there were no plans for a no-fly zone over Syria, however.

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