Damascus, 5. There are more than a million Syrian evacuees because of the violence. About 230,000 of them have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Half this number fled in the month of August alone, the bloodiest month since the beginning of the Syrian uprising.
These are the figures provided by the United Nations yesterday, during a session of the General Assembly, while fighting continued in Aleppo and in various other cities.
In New York Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization, said to members of the General Assembly and to Lakhdar Brahimi himself, special UN and Arab League Envoy for Syria (expected in Damascus next Saturday), that “we also have to recognize the risk that violence could spill over into neighbouring countries”.
The Secretary-General spoke of “large-scale human rights violations” and said: “prisoners on both sides are subject to harsh treatment and, often, torture. There have been alarming reports of summary executions on both sides”. The humanitarian situation in Syria, he said, “is grave and deteriorating, both in Syria and in neighbours affected by the crisis”. Brahimi told those present that “the situation in Syria is each day gets worse”, describing the death toll as “staggering” and the destruction “catastrophic”.
The report also arrived from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The new President of the Committgee, Peter Maurer, has been in Damascus since yesterday and was received today by President Bashir al- Assad. The ICRC says that Assad welcomed the humanitarian operations carried out by the Committee on the ground in Syria, “as long as they remain impartial and independent”.