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Syria to grant Red Cross access to Qusayr when fighting over

Published: Updated:

Syria will allow the Red Cross to enter the besieged town of Qusayr after military operations are over, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem told U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday, Reuters reported Syrian state TV as saying.

U.N. humanitarian officials have called for an immediate ceasefire in Qusayr, where President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and Hezbollah fighters are battling to drive out rebels, saying1,500 wounded people are in need of emergency medical treatment, Reuters said.

Moualem expressed surprise at the international concern over the fighting around Qusayr, saying the world had been silent when rebels took over the town 18 months ago and that Syria was now clearing it of “terrorism”, according to Reuters.

Russia on Saturday blocked a U.N. Security Council declaration of alarm over the bloody siege of the Syrian town of Qusayr by the Syrian army and Hezbollah allies, U.N. diplomats said.

Britain, president of the 15-nation council, circulated a draft statement to fellow members voicing “grave concern about the situation in Qusayr, Syria, and in particular the impact on civilians of the ongoing fighting,” Reuters news agency reported.

The assault launched by the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to capture Qusayr began two weeks ago, leaving hundreds wounded.