UN Humanitarian Chief Visits Baba Amr: What Happened To Its Residents?

United Nations humanitarian chief Lady Amos expressed “shock” on seeing the devastation in the Baba Amr district of Homs in central Syria after a month-long siege by the Syrian military. Amos was finally able to visit Baba Amr after Syrian authorities refused her access for months. She met with Syrian officials from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad prior to touring the bombed-out district of which she said, “Part of Homs is completely destroyed and I am concerned to know what has happened to the people who live in that part of the city.”

Kofia Annan, a joint envoy from the UN and the Arab League, is to visit Syria next. Speaking in Cairo, Annan said that he would push for an end to the violence and killings: “We will be urging the government and a broad spectrum of Syrian opposition to come together to work with us to find a solution that will respect the aspirations of the Syrian people,” the Guardian quoted him as saying.

Annan made his comments after Syria’s deputy minister of oil, Abdo Hussameldin, announced via a YouTube video that he had defected from the Assad regime. While Hussameldin is the highest-ranking Syria official to defect to the opposition, he is a “relatively minor and unknown figure outside of Damascus” and his defection, says the Guardian, “underscores the difficulties Syria’s fragmented opposition has had in persuading senior regime figures to abandon Assad.”

While Downing Street welcomed the defection as an “important moment,” the UK’s foreign minister, William Hague, noted that his country has “no plans” of supporting the Syrian opposition. The US’s defense secretary, Leon Panetta, has said that the Obama administration is considering “an array of non-lethal assistance” to the rebels, while so far outruling providing them with weapons. Turkey’s president, Abdullah Gul, has said that he would back some form of regional military intervention in Syria.

China’s envoy, Li Huaxin, said that he had called on Assad’s government to end the violence immediately and was backing efforts by the UN and the Red Cross to send aid to regions in need of food, medical supplies and humanitarian relief.

Activists report that 44 people have killed on Thursday  in a “fresh massacre” in the Jobar area of Homs, which is southwest of Baba Amr. Over 7,500 have died, according to UN estimates, though these numbers cannot be confirmed.

Al-Jazeera Reported Resigns Over Syria Coverage

Al-Jazeera reporter Ali Hashem, the Beirut correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, has reportedly resigned over the Qatar-based company’s coverage of Syria. According to Al-Akhbar English, some weeks ago, “pro-Assad hackers leaked emails that revealed the dismay among Al Jazeera’s staff over its ‘biased and unprofessional’ coverage of the Syrian uprising.” An anonymous source says that Hashem changed his position after the network “refused to show photos he had taken of armed fighters clashing with the Syrian Army in Wadi Khaled. Instead [Al Jazeera] lambasted him as a shabeeh (implying a regime loyalist).” Al-Akhbar English observes that the Qatari government’s own position on Syria — it has “made efforts to overthrow” Assad at the same time as it has supported the crackdown on protesters in Bahrain — “has made inroads” that have adversely affected Al Jazeera’s coverage of Arab affairs.

Related Care2 Coverage

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Anthony Shadid’s Last Story: The Free Syrian Army

Red Cross Barred From Entering Bab Amr in Syria


Photo by Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia Commons


Phyllis B.
Jennifer Ward4 years ago

UN is full of jobsworths and bribetakers. It needs reformation and a good clear out. My sympathies to the Syrians, what can the West do anyway? Things have gone from bad to worse for the people in 'Arab Spring' countries where we 'helped'.

Marianna B M.

lost my faith in the un

Nancy V.

As for the United Nations, the UN, what does/has it ever accomplished??? I've said it before and I'll say it again, "get the US out of the UN and get the UN out of the US"...leeches not having to obey our laws (they have immunity) and live the life of Riley while their own countrymen suffer and die daily either from terror, gangs, crooks, starvation and desease.

Nancy V.

How do any of us or our government know just who is backing these Rebels??? Seems to me that many are the same as the 'terrorists' all over the world killing and maiming innocent people to reach their own agenda....which doesn't appear to be giving their people a 'free choice' of religion or anything else........same ole' same ole' it seems to be in many places including "Egypt"....who's in charge there??? The radical Muslims??? Can anybody tell me????????

Nancy V.

Is all this killing in the name of Allah??? Why so much violence in the Muslim religion and many of it's people???

J.L. A.
JL A.4 years ago

no simple solution to end this violent conflict

patrica and edw jones

Too many fat cats ruling the UN - they need to get off their fat asses and start being productive in the world arena...........on the other hand not too many of them are intelligent either - too many weirdos and radicals.

Gillian Miller
Gillian M.4 years ago

In the current situation, it seems to me that the governments are sitting on the fence waiting to see who will win. The ultimate losers will be the general population most especially the women and children.

As an aside, I have signed the above petition but can tell you now that it is a waste of time. I have spent many many hours writing to the Iranian UN abassador and the Ayatollah Khamenei, amongst others, in an attempt to save children from being hung and all that happens is that the date of the hanging is postponed for a few days to pretend that they listen. I wish Nasrin well, she is a brave lady.

Gillian Miller
Gillian M.4 years ago

This conflict is unlike the uprisings against their dictators who may well have caused many problems for some of their people but nothing like those we are seeing now and will see in the future. As Rob and Jay have pointed out, the greatest losers are the non-Moslems who are being killed by the military as well as the general population and nothing is being done by the UN or other governments to protect these people especially the Coptic Christians in Egypt. However, the best comment about these atrocities and the UN has been made by Hillel Neuer

Over the past decade, terrorist attacks were perpetrated in New York; in London; in Madrid; in Mumbai; in Iraq; and in Jerusalem. These attacks, and many more, were carried out in the name of an extremist religious ideology. Thousands of innocents were killed.

How many urgent sessions did this Council convene to condemn these atrocities?
Not one.

How many inquiries were created?
Not one.

How many resolutions were adopted in response to these attacks?
Not one.

Instead, when justice was served on Osama Bin Laden, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay questioned this act.

patrica and edw jones

Who trusts Al Jazeera media - certainly not us. We, the West, need to stay well out of this conflict. This is a no win situation that we cannot afford to poke our noses into. The Middle East is in crisis mode and teetering on a very fragile edge.