Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General on the escalation of violence in Syria

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General on the escalation of violence in Syria
The Secretary-General expresses his deep concern at the dangerous intensification of armed violence across Syria over the past several days, and the grave danger facing civilians in areas under fire. The bloodshed and fighting must stop at once.

 United Nations observers from the Supervision Mission in Syria have reported an increased level of armed confrontation between Government and opposition forces.  The Government’s intensive military operations, including the shelling of Homs and reportedly other population centres, as well as firing from helicopters onTalbiseh and Rastan, are resulting in heavy civilian casualties and human rights violations.  The Secretary-General underlines the importance of unimpeded access by UNSMIS to Al-Haffa, amid reports of
a build-up of Government forces around the town.

In this context, UNSMIS is also observing planned and coordinated attacks on government forces and civilian infrastructure in multiple locations. The violence as a whole is intensifying amid the shifting tactics.

The Secretary-General condemns this escalation of armed violence, in particular the shelling of population centres and attacks against civilian infrastructure by all sides, which impairs delivery of essential services and exacerbates the humanitarian crisis. The Secretary-General further calls on all sides to stop the killing, cease armed violence in all its forms and seek peaceful political means to resolve the deepening crisis, as called for by the six-point plan. The parties must abide by their obligations under international law

 The Secretary-General reiterates his call for all countries with influence on either side to convince them to put the welfare of Syrians first, to pull back from the brink and to reflect on the devastating consequences that increasing violence is having for the people of Syria, the country and the region. The Secretary-General remains ready to work with the entire international community to assist the Government of Syria and the opposition to achieve a political solution to the crisis.

 New York,  11 June 2012
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