United Nations(UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that an up-tick in military fighting in Syria and threats of the use of more force could hinder efforts to restart peace talks and finding a peace to the horrific five-year-old civil war.
In a report to the UN's Security Council yesterday addressing the implementation of a resolution from last December that included a peace process for Syria, the Secretary-General said: "The escalated military activity by several parties and the threats to resort to the further use of force risk derailing efforts to find a sustainable political solution..." the Associated Press(AP) reported.
The Bashar al Assad regime has gone on an offensive across Syria ever since it got Russian help last year in the form of fighter jets. Civilian hospitals and a school have been destroyed or damaged in bombings by the regime and the Russian air force. Scores of civilians, medical personnel, children and women have died.
According to Ban Ki-moon, the international community and the council face a stark choice, the AP wrote: on one hand - the implementation of the UN resolution, de-escalate violence, fight terrorism and resume negotiations. And on the other side: "the Syrian parties and their supporters can continue to pursue the bankrupt logic of a military victory, which has already led to the deaths of over 250,000 Syrians, the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time, and the creation of safe havens for terrorist organizations."
The UN chief repeated a call for the Security Council to refer the Syrian war to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible war crimes. "Those responsible must be held accountable for the appalling crimes that continue to be committed," the AP cited Ban Ki-moon.
Tomorrow marks the day a planned agreed upon ceasefire will take effect in Syria.However, with intensified Russian bombing on behalf of the Assad regime in and around Aleppo and across Syria, peace appears as but a figment of imagination on the eve of any ceasefire. Conflict, violence and death remain real in Syria.