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Syrian Red Crescent says attempts underway to evacuate restive people from Homs

06-21-2012 05:07 BJT Special Report:Crisis in Syria |

DAMASCUS, June 20 (Xinhua) -- A team of Syrian Red Crescent and International Red Cross are trying to access restive civilians in troublesome areas of Syria's central Homs province to evacuate them, an official source in the Syrian Red Crescent said in a statement sent to Xinhua Wednesday.

The evacuation attempt came in light of "positive response by the Syrian government to the Red Cross' request to access and evacuate citizens, and provide food and medical assistance to the affected people in Homs," the source said.

In the statement, the Red Crescent expressed hopes that the mission succeed in entering the unrest-torn areas "out of respect to the wishes of people that demanded their evacuation to safe areas."

The humanitarian organization also called on all fighting parties not to involve civilians in their battles and spare them the calamity of fighting.

On Monday, the Syrian government said it had exerted efforts to evacuate troubled people of Homs but was hindered by armed groups that "have taken people as human shields."

In a statement issued by the foreign ministry, the government said they had contacted the leadership of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to facilitate the evacuation of people from restive areas in central Homs province, adding that the armed groups have hampered the process to draw in international pressures.

The statement stressed that the Syrian government has exhausted all options to end the suffering of trapped people, reiterating readiness to extract those people unconditionally. It also called on influential parties to practice pressure on the armed groups and push them to not harm civilians and facilitate their exit.

On Sunday, the head of the observation mission to Syria called on all parties of the Syrian conflict to reconsider positions and to take immediate action to ease the pain of Syrian people, who are trapped in the violence.

In a statement, Maj-Gen Robert Mood said "civilians continue to be trapped by escalating violence in Syria."

"In Homs, attempts to extract civilians from the line of fire over the past week have been unsuccessful," said Mood, calling on the concerned parties to take immediate action to ease the pain of Syrians trapped in the violence and "the UN Supervision Mission in Syria stands ready to monitor their release, once the decision is taken by the Parties."

On Saturday, Mood announced that he had decided to suspend the patrols of his 300-member team, citing spiraling violence in restive areas.

The observers have been deployed in Syria since April 20, a week after the six-point plan sponsored by the UN-Arab League joint special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan went into effect, and their deployment was believed to be the only workable item of the plan to end violence in Syria.

Mood accused both the government and the opposition of lacking the real will to push for a political settlement.


Editor:Bai Yang |Source: Xinhua

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