YEREVAN, April 8. /ARKA/. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the conflicting parties in Syria to ensure protection of all civilians in the country despite their religious or ethnic belonging, a statement from the secretary general's press office said on Tuesday, The Voice of Russia reports.
His call on the conflicting sides in Syria comes in the wake of the killing of well-known in Syria Dutch priest Father Frans van der Lugt, 72, who was reported on Monday to be shot dead by militants in the Syrian city of Homs.
"In the face of troubling new reports of atrocities in the brutal conflict driving Syria to its destruction, the Secretary-General demands that warring parties and their supporters ensure that civilians are protected, regardless of their religion, community or ethnic affiliation," the statement said.
"The killing of an elderly priest, Father Frans van der Lugt, in Homs today is but the latest tragedy highlighting the urgent need to protect civilians. The Secretary-General condemns this inhumane act of violence against a man who heroically stood by the people of Syria amid sieges and growing difficulties," the statement said.
"The Secretary-General is also horrified by the gruesome images purporting executions in the Syrian town of Kasab," the statement said.
"While the United Nations is unable to confirm the validity of these reported atrocities, gross human rights violations undeniably continue and residents of entire villages such as Kasab have been forced to flee."
According to various reports, Syria's north-western town of Kasab, predominantly populated by ethnic Armenians, was attacked on March 22 by Jebhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham militants, who had crossed the border from Turkey.
According to unofficial sources, 80 people were killed.
"The Secretary-General is also extremely concerned that groups listed as terrorist organizations by the United Nations Security Council continue to brutalize the civilian population," the statement said.
The UN secretary general reiterated that the ongoing violent conflict in Syria cannot "be won militarily." –0--