Syrian pleas for calm falling on deaf ears

BRUSSELS, June 3 (UPI) -- Appeals for respect for international law during the Syrian battle for Qusair "have been falling on deaf ears," the European crisis commissioner said.

European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva said she's been following the fighting in Qusair, near the Lebanese border, with "increasing alarm."


Fighters from the military wing of Hezbollah have crossed the border to Syria to fight alongside pro-government forces there. A Syrian doctor told the BBC last week more than 600 injured people were trapped in rebel-held districts without access to medical assistance.

Georgieva said all parties to the conflict in Qusair have an obligation to protect the lives of civilians. She said she's heard consistent appeals to respect the rule of law from the United Nations and International Committee of the Red Cross

"These appeals have been falling on deaf ears," she said in a statement. "In a moment like this we must together all raise our voices ever more loudly until our protests can no longer be ignored."

ICRC Middle East Director Robert Mardini said there are thousands of people trapped by fighting in Qusair and thousands more have left all of their belonging behind as they fled the violence.


Georgieva said at least 80,000 people have died during the Syrian war, 1.6 million people are displaced and 7 million require some form of humanitarian assistance.

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