World Bulletin/News Desk
The outgoing head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Syria on Wednesday offered a dire prognosis for the war-torn nation, saying the conflict would continue to pose risks far beyond Syria's borders.
"If a solution is not found soon, a political solution, in Syria, the whole area, the whole region will be affected. It's already affected. It will deteriorate even more", Marianne Gasser told a panel discussion at Washington-based Wilson Center.
According to the UN, Syria's civil war has left more than 80,000 people dead, displacing over four million internally, and sending approximately 1.5 million others to flee Syria's borders into neighboring countries.
"If the fighting would stop even tomorrow it would take years to reconstruct this country, and especially even more to reconciliate [sic] the different people," Ms Gasser said.
The now two-plus year conflict also risks a regional escalation of the fighting along sectarian lines, highlighted by a still-unfolding battle for Qusair, a Syrian town close to Lebanese border, which Syrian rebels said had seen dozens of Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants killed fighting alongside Syrian troops since Sunday.
Earlier in May, Israeli war planes in Syria hit an alleged shipment of "game-changing" weapons, advanced missiles which the Jewish state said were destined to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
And, in the deadliest spillover of violence in Turkey, the southern town of Reyhanli near the Syrian border was hit by twin car bombings on May 11 which killed 51 people, including Syrian shelter seekers. For the attacks, Turkey has blamed terrorist groups with "direct links" to the Syrian regime and intelligence.
UN's refugee agency has said the total number of people in need of assistance in Syria has reached 8.3 million, or 38 percent of the country's population.
Last Mod: 23 Mayıs 2013, 11:34