UN team arrives in Syria
Beirut - A UN humanitarian team arrived in
Syria to assess the crisis as President Bashar al-Assad was scheduled to
address the nation on Sunday.
State television announced that Assad would
speak about "the situation in Syria, the continuing process of reforms and
the repercussions of American and Western political and economic
pressures." in an interview with the station.
The interview with the station would be
Assad's first public appearance June 20, and only his fourth since the
demonstrations against his government erupted in mid-March.
At least 1 860 civilians and 422 security
personnel have been killed in the past four months, according to human rights
It is difficult to verify those reports
because authorities have barred entry to most foreign media and international
Lebanese radios on Sunday quoted UN spokesperson
Amanda Pitt as saying that "a UN humanitarian team is in place in Syria
The team is led by Rashid Khalikov, chief of
the Geneva bureau of the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian
affairs, she said.
The New-York based Human Rights Watch called
on the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take action
against Syria, saying it had violated its charter "by systematically and
brutally suppressing peaceful civilian protests."
"The OIC should issue a clear statement
that security forces conducting policing may use lethal force only when
strictly necessary to protect life, and that killing peaceful protesters is a
serious violation of the OIC charter," said Sarah Leah Whitson, the
group's Middle East director.
On Saturday, tanks entered the central city
of Homs, one day after 34 protesters were killed, activists said.
They alleged that troops had arrested Malak
Mahmud Sayed in the northern city of Aleppo late on Saturday while she was
trying to apply for a passport.Author:Weedah Hamzah