UN fears Qusayr-like bloodshed in Aleppo
GENEVA / BEIRUT
Syrian government forces are seen in Qusayr after taking the control of the town. AP photoU.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said yesterday she feared that bloodshed in recent battles for the Syrian town of Qusayr would be repeated in the city of Aleppo and undermine peace efforts.
“I am concerned that what happened in Qusayr will happen in Aleppo. All the reports I’m receiving are of augmentation of resources and forces on the part of the government,” Pillay told Reuters. “It’s hardly a scenario and a proper stage for negotiations at this stage.
Syrian government forces backed by Hezbollah fighters captured Qusayr on June 5 after more than two weeks of fierce fighting and heavy shelling that destroyed hundreds of buildings and sent civilians fleeing to outlying areas.
After winning a strategic victory, Syrian troops are now focusing their attention on Homs and Aleppo. The army operation is conducted in the southern and northern countryside of Aleppo, according to activists, and the aim is to cut off the rebels’ supply line from Turkey and attempt to regain control of the north. Intensified clashes are also reported in Homs and its suburbs as the army closed in on besieged, rebel-held neighborhoods of the provincial capital.
“Would you begin negotiations with people who are intent on emerging as victors out of violent struggle?” she asked.