Seeking a solution for Syria

About 80 bodies have been found in the city of Aleppo, as the conflict in Syria has reached "unprecedented levels of horror" and is "destroying the country piece by piece," said the special envoy of the UN and the Arab League, Lakhdar Brahimi.

On Tuesday (29/01),  the envoy called upon the Security Council to take action immediately to prevent further violence in the country, since his mediation cannot evolve while the group is not talking to the Syrian government and the disjointed opposition forces to create a compromise, although the vast majority of the foreign backed terrorists insist they will not compromise at all.

The so-called "Syrian Revolution General Commission" said in a statement that most of the 80 bodies showed signs of torture and had their hands tied. These rebels blamed the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, but state media said the group al-Jabhat Nusra was responsible for the new massacre.


The alert comes at the same time as Brahimi's UN donor conference for Syria, began on Wednesday (30/01) in Kuwait, with an appeal from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to reach $1.5 billion for urgent humanitarian aid to Syria.

Even so, the representative stated that "humanitarian assistance alone cannot solve the crisis, which will not be resolved unless there is a political solution" and urged all parties to the conflict to suspend violence.

The emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al-Sabah, said in his speech that he is donating $300 million. The Kuwaiti official urged council members to end the suffering of refugees and Syrians migrants: "We must redouble our efforts to offer more help and funds" and support for the conference will be, "a factor to alleviate the suffering of the Syrians."

Moreover, the UAE and Saudi Arabia said they would each donate $300 million to Syria. The U.S. pledged $155 million on Tuesday.  What was not clarified is how to prevent humanitarian assistance from falling into the hands of terrorist elements.

The goal of the conference, which included several heads of state such as King Abdullah II of Jordan, the President of Lebanon, Michel Suleiman and Tunisian, Moncef Marzouki, is to raise the $1.5 billion that the UN estimates is needed for the  protection of 700,000 registered refugees in neighboring Syria and to fund humanitarian work for about 4 million Syrians in their country.

Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the UNHCR (acronym for High Commissioner for Refugees UN), told the Guardian that "If we do not reach the $1.5 billion at the end of the day, we are confident that we will get to it very soon."  The way the money is allocated, however, is still to be decided.

"We think most will come to the UNCHR. But we also know that a good portion will go to governments that are hosting refugees, such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and their NGOs." About 3 thousand refugees crossed the border into those countries, he said.

Divisions outside Syria

In the opinion of Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador in Syria, "The UN plays a vital role in terms of reaching people in parts of Syria, but it is not enough. Operations there need to offer help to neighbors, as well as better access within the country."

It is unclear in the final report whether Brahimi convinced all sides to support UN action to halt killings in Syria. According to him, attempts to put an end to the conflict, which has lasted almost two years and caused more than 60,000 deaths, has not progressed in the last two months.

According to diplomats, Brahimi is increasingly frustrated with the inability of Security Council to join him. Kofi Annan, who was in charge before Brahimi entered, showed similar frustration when he left the post in August.

The Security Council has been divided as to action in Syria: on one hand, the U.S., UK, France and other western countries support the armed terrorist opposition and resolutions that increase sanctions against the country. On the other hand, Russia and China vetoed three resolutions in the past, as the resolutions have failed to address both sides in the conflict, only calling upon the government to cease the fighting, while the terrorists have not been compelled to do the same.

Meanwhile, rebels say they captured a government intelligence base in the city of Deir az-Zor in the east of the country. Terrorists also claimed to have captured various checkpoints in the city and destroyed military vehicles.

Recently, nine people were killed, including four children and three women, in the town of Sapphire, on the outskirts of Aleppo.

The Syrian Arab Army has successfully managed to counter terrorist elements, and have managed to prevent several terrorist attacks and bombings.

Translated from the Portuguese version by:

Lisa Karpova


Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey