17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

EU: Syria crisis reminiscent of Yugoslavia breakup

31 July 2012, Tuesday /REUTERS
The fighting that is raging across Syria from city to city and town to town is like the warfare that tore apart Yugoslavia in the 1990s, a top EU official said on Tuesday.

"Syria is sliding into a large-scale humanitarian tragedy that brings back awful memories of ex-Yugoslavia," Kristalina Georgieva, the EU's international crisis chief, said in a statement.

"Civilians in Syria must be given the possibility to leave the areas of fighting in an organised and safe manner without having to fear for their life."

She released the statement the day before France takes over the presidency of the UN Security Council, after which it plans to ask for an urgent meeting on Syria - probably at ministerial level - to try to end the diplomatic deadlock and prevent further bloodshed.


French President Francois Hollande has said he will try to convince Russia and China to support further sanctions, in spite of their refusal to do so up to now.

The Syrian military is stepping up its campaign to drive rebels out of Aleppo. The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 100 people, 73 of them civilians, were killed in Syria on Monday. The only international military presence is a small, unarmed UN observer mission.   

The wars in the former Yugoslavia marked a failure by Europe to stop violence in its backyard. In the 1992-95 Bosnian war, around 100,000 people were killed before NATO air strikes forced the sides to the negotiating table.

"Humanitarian organisations must be granted safe access to combat zones to proceed with the evacuation of the wounded and civilians," said Georgieva, whose full title is European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

"I appeal to the international community and in particular the United Nations Security Council to focus on the humanitarian crisis in Syria and support my call for humanitarian pauses and respect for international humanitarian law."

WORLD  Other Titles
Hundreds still missing in deadly Korea ferry accident
Australian premier's resignation as a sign of less, not more, corruption
UK PM's former media aide tells court he heard hacked messages
Post, Guardian win Pulitzers for NSA revelations
Nigeria vows to protect May's ‘African Davos' in bomb-hit capital
Berlusconi ordered to do community service for tax conviction
Doctor to be tried in Britain's first female genital mutilation court case
Prosecutor wraps up Oscar Pistorius' grilling in murder trial
Syria opposition claims has evidence of chlorine gas attack
Egypt woman prof. targets young in bid to save Brotherhood
China seizes more than 10,000 illegal guns in crackdown
Macedonians vote for new president as general election nears
Complaints of serious fraud in Afghan polls exceed total in 2009
Indonesian parties in pact, clear way for top presidential candidate
UN climate panel warns emissions rising, blurs reason
Biden to visit Kiev to show US support for Ukraine unity
Iran rejects naming new United Nations envoy after US refusal
Death toll in fighting between Syrian rivals rises to 68
Venezuelan leader meets opposition
Egyptian police say kill two Brotherhood members in shootout
Murdered girl's mom says News of the World was force for good
Prosecutor, defense urge community service for Berlusconi
US health secretary quits over Obamacare
At least 10 dead when truck slams students bus in California
International students celebrate Prophet Muhammad in Gaziantep