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EU: Syria headed toward disaster

Women protest the government in the Al-qsoor neighborhood of Homs, Syria, on March 19, 2012. UPI
Women protest the government in the Al-qsoor neighborhood of Homs, Syria, on March 19, 2012. UPI | License Photo

BRUSSELS, July 31 (UPI) -- The conflict in Syria is pushing the country toward a large-scale humanitarian disaster, European Commissioner on Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva said.

Georgieva said Syria is facing a major humanitarian disaster because of the daily violence influencing the lives of civilians.

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"To guarantee the safety of civilians, the wounded and humanitarian workers, it is paramount to secure humanitarian pauses in fighting," she said in a statement. "This would be the humane thing to do, but also the right thing to do, under international humanitarian law."

International voices have expressed concern about a possible massacre in Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, as pro- and anti-government forces fight for dominance in the ongoing conflict.

Georgieva said it was vital that groups like the Red Cross and Red Crescent be allowed to continue their work in Syria unimpeded.

"The protection of civilians, including humanitarian workers, is an obligation for all parties involved in the fighting," she said.

The Red Cross warned last week that people in Damascus were trapped by the fighting.

Syria is accused of committing war crimes during the crisis. The government, however, blames domestic terrorists for much of the violence.

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