NEW YORK: The emir of Qatar yesterday called for an Arab military intervention in Syria to halt the conflict.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani told the UN General Assembly: “It is better for Arab countries themselves to intervene out of their humanitarian, political and military duties and do what is necessary to stop the bloodshed.”
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the Syria “calamity” is turning into a global crisis as US President Barack Obama led growing calls for an end to Bashar Assad’s rule.
Condemnations of Assad marked the opening day of the UN General Assembly of world leaders as the conflict passes 18 months and the international community remains deadlocked.
The conflict “is a regional calamity with global ramifications” that needs action by the Security Council, Ban said in the opening address of the assembly. “The international community should not look the other way as violence spirals out of control,” Ban told world leaders, adding that “brutal” rights abuses were being committed by Assad’s forces.
Obama said there had to be “sanctions and consequences” for atrocities committed in the war and that Assad must go. He also said that Iran “props up a dictator in Damascus.”
“The future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people,” Obama told the assembly.
“If there is a cause that cries out for protest in the world today, it is a regime that tortures children and shoots rockets at apartment buildings.”
Soldiers shot dead a child yesterday in Syria's Aleppo province when they targeted the car she was in, a watchdog said, giving an initial toll of 62 people killed nationwide.
Global aid agency “Save the Children” said Syrian children are being “badly traumatized” after witnessing killings, torture and other atrocities.