U.N. chief raises fears for ‘trapped’ civilians in Homs

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon says that he fears for the 2,500 civilians trapped in Homs. (File Photo: AFP)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his fear on Tuesday for the 2,500 civilian who are trapped in Homs as forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continue with their campaign to take over the central city, a spokesman said.

He U.N. chief reiterated his call to stop arming both sides in the Syrian conflict, expressing “grave concern” about the battles taking place in Homs, said U.N. deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey, according to AFP.

“An estimated 2,500 civilians remain trapped in Homs,” said the spokesman.

Ban called on “the warring sides to do their utmost to avoid civilian casualties and to allow immediate humanitarian access, as well as opportunities for trapped civilians to leave without fear of persecution.”

The spokesman also said that the U.N. chief has a “concern over threats to seize two Shiite villages in the northern province of Aleppo,” adding that Ban “calls again for stopping the supply of arms to all sides and appeals to the parties in Syria and their supporters to focus instead on the search for a political solution that remains the only way out of this tragedy.”

The Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah has been fighting alongside Assad forces against the rebel – most of whom are Sunni Muslims. Assad and his clan hail from the Alawite sect – which is an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

More than 90,000 people have been killed in the uprising against the Damascus regime since March 2011, according to U.N. statistics.

(With AFP)

Last Update: Tuesday, 02 July 2013 KSA 18:06 - GMT 15:06