Syria 'cleaning up' evidence
Beirut - Syrian forces are conducting a
clean-up in a Palestinian refugee camp in the city of Latakia to erase evidence
of "crimes against humanity" there, a Western diplomat in Europe told
the German Press Agency dpa on Sunday.
His comments came the day after a UN
humanitarian team arrived in Syria to assess the ongoing crisis there.
"Reports of a clean-up are perfect evidence
of what the regime is denying: that there was an attack on the refugee camp,
home to thousands of UN registered Palestinian refugees who were forced to flee
as they came under fire," said the diplomat, who spoke to dpa on condition
"The Baathist (ruling party) killing
machine can wash the blood off the streets, but not off its hands," the
The UN mission arrived in Syria on Saturday
amid charges that forces commanded by President Bashar al-Assad have carried
out "widespread and systematic" attacks on civilians, which UN Human
Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay said amounted to "violations of human
The Palestinian refugee camp is located in
Latakia, a port city which has come under sustained assault, including, according
to reports, from gunboats lying offshore.
The UN team is led by Rashid Khalikov, chief
of the Geneva bureau of the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian
Human rights advocates say at least 1 860
civilians and 422 security personnel have been killed in Syria since March when
protests calling for al-Assad's ouster began.
It is difficult to verify those reports
because authorities have barred entry to most foreign media and international