Daily Israel Report

Ban: Assad Has 'Lost All Humanity'

UN Chief criticizes Assad for the latest violence against his people, but Security Council still doesn't condemn Syria.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/3/2011, 2:13 AM

Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon
United Nations

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar Assad has “lost all humanity,” AFP reported.

“Since the beginning of this situation, I have issued many statements, I have spoken to President Assad several times, and I have expressed my sincere wish and genuine wish that he should genuinely, genuinely address these issues in a peaceful manner,” Ban was quoted as having told a small group of reporters.

Responding to the massacre by Assad’s troops of more than 100 citizens of Hama, Ban said: “This is a totally unacceptable situation. He (Assad) must be aware that under international humanitarian law, this is accountable. I believe that he lost all sense of humanity.”

Ban said Assad “must address this issue, listening to the calls of the international community and more importantly, listening to the aspirations and genuine wishes of his people.”

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council was meeting to discuss the ongoing situation in Syria, but Russia and India said the text of a new draft resolution on Syria which was distributed at the meeting was barely different from a version they have been rejecting for the past two months.

Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin was quoted as saying the draft “is not new,” while Indian envoy Hardeen Singh Puri added, “There has been no change to the text which was on the table, there has been some technical update.

“Our position is very clear,” added Puri. “I think the council needs to pronounce itself. Just how the council pronounces itself, in what way, with what degree of emphasis requires a discussion.”

While Russia and China, who have veto powers in the Security Council, had threatened to block past attempts to pass a resolution, following the latest massacres there is now wider acceptance that the body must act, diplomats told AFP.

According to the diplomats, it is more likely the Security Council will now try to agree on a less formal statement on Syria, with no warning of UN action.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Assad’s troops tightened their grip on Hama, taking up positions near homes and sending residents fleeing for their lives.

In response to the latest violence, the European Union on Monday expanded its sanctions against Syria, imposing asset freezes and travel bans against five more military and government officials.

Meanwhile, France announced the 27-nation bloc will “very soon” adopt further sanctions amid the continuing unrest and bloodshed in that country.