Activist Fears Syria Will Become ‘New Somalia’
Syrian rights activists say violence across the country Wednesday has killed at least 53 people, after the head of a United Nations monitoring mission says his team is committed to staying in the war-torn country.
Rami Abdelrahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told VOA (by phone) that he fears Syria will become “the new Somalia or the new Afghanistan.”
The Observatory has a network of contacts in Syria including rebels, activists and state security members. Abdelrahman said at least 28 Syrian soldiers, one army defector and 24 civilians and rebels died Wednesday.
He said clashes, shelling and bombings killed Syrians from north of Aleppo, to the southern city of Daraa, to the eastern city of Deir Ezzor and the northwestern province of Latakia. Abdelrahman also reported deaths from attacks in Hama, Idlib and Damascus provinces.
The latest violence comes as the International Committee of the Red Cross said it is preparing to evacuate wounded people and trapped civilians from the city of Homs. The ICRC said Wednesday both sides agreed to its request for a temporary halt in fighting so the ICRC can carry out the evacuations and bring in much-needed medical supplies.
On Tuesday, the head of the U.N. observer mission in Syria said the “suffering of the Syrian people” is getting worse and that questions about canceling the monitoring mission are premature.