07/13/2012, 00.00
SYRIA
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Nuncio in Damascus calls on international community to help Syria out of hellish trap

Mgr Mario Zenari pleads with the UN Security Council in New York. The situation can only get worse if the international community remains divided. Some 200 people die in another massacre in Tremseh (Hama).

Damascus (AsiaNews) - "The international community should hurry up and help Syria out of this hellish trap," said Mgr Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio to Damascus. Speaking to AsiaNews, he pleaded with the members of the United Nations Security Council, especially China and Russia, and the Arab League, to put aside their differences and do something tangible to stop the bloodshed that has cost 14,000 lives in the past 16 months.

After three weeks out of the country, the prelate returned to Syria only to find the situation had worsened since he had left.

In Tremseh, Hama province, 200 more innocent people died in another massacre today. Like in Houla and al-Qubayr, the military and rebels blame each other.

Combat helicopters and tanks struck at the village, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. They were followed by members of the Shabiha (ghosts) paramilitary militia, who carried out summary executions.

Syria's official news agency SANA, blamed Muslim terrorists for the incident, claiming that they are trying to sow fear and chaos in order to influence the UN Security Council in New York.

"The situation is getting worse," Mgr Zenari noted. "When I returned security was worse. It is no longer possible to move freely. Fighting and abductions are taking place in areas that were under control until recently."

The Security Council in New York saw China and Russia veto fresh sanctions against Bashar al-Assad's regime. Moscow and Beijing are opposed to any resolution against the Syrian government.

The two members accuse Western government of trying a repeat of the strategy used in Libya, taking advantage of UN resolutions to start a war in the region.

Opposition from Russia and China make UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's work even harder. In recent weeks, he asked for Iran's support to try mediation with the regime and reach a peace deal.

On 16 July, the former UN secretary general will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to get Russia on board.

"The international community must try to speak with a single voice and stop Syria from falling off the precipice," the Vatican nuncio said. "Without everyone's cooperation, Annan's great plan is worthless."

Increasingly, the innocent are the victims of the tragedy, especially children. "Killing the defenceless does not hurt only the Syrian people but humanity as a whole." (S.C.)

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