UN official says 400 Syrians killed in uprising since arrival of Arab League monitors
An estimated 400 people have been killed in Syria since an Arab League mission arrived in the country to monitor the uprising against the government of President Bashar Assad, a top U.N. official said Tuesday.
United Nations political chief B. Lynn Pascoe provided the latest figures in a closed-door report to the 15-member Security Council on the Syrian uprising that has already claimed more than 5,000 lives since it began almost 10 months ago, diplomats said.
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the rate of killings, an average of 40 a day, was even higher than before the monitors arrived.
“That is a clear indication that the government of Syria, rather than using the opportunity of its commitment to the Arab League to end the violence and fulfill all of its commitments under the protocol is instead stepping up the violence, despite the presence of monitors, and carrying out further acts of brutality against its population, even often in the presences of those monitors,” Rice said, calling on Assad to step down and make way for a more democratic regime.
Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari blamed the killings on incitement by western powers.
“These victims are falling in Syria because of those who are still insisting on instigating and inciting violence. And I am sure you have heard a lot of these incitement calls from the same countries, from the same representatives who have just spoken to you,” Ja’afari told reporters following comments by Rice and the ambassadors from Britain, France and Germany.