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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# Syria
Assad warns against armed intervention
Meanwhile the UN has said that the need for humanitarian aid in Syria could rise sharply early next year.

SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR Assad has said he is not a “Western puppet” and he will live and die in Syria, despite calls for foreign intervention in the country’s civil war.

In an interview with Russia Today, Assad said the issue should not be about his staying in or leaving the country but about the country being safe or not.

He said for the President to leave Syria should be decided by the ballot boxes and not by personal opinions.

Speaking about about the country’s internal conflict and about the possibility of armed foreign intervention Assad said:

I do not think the West is going [to intervene], but if they do so, nobody can tell what is next. I think the price of this [foreign] invasion if it happened is going to be more than the whole world can afford

(Uploaded by RussiaToday)

Humanitarian crisis

Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) is warning that the number of people inside Syria needing humanitarian aid could rise sharply from 2.5 million now to 4 million by early next year if the civil war grinds on at its current deadly pace.

John Ging, operations director for the UN humanitarian office, said the UN is also projecting that a failure to end the fighting will lead to an increase in the number of Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries, from almost 400,000 at present to around 700,000 in early 2013.

Ging spoke in an interview ahead of today’s fifth Syria Humanitarian Forum in Geneva where between 350 and 400 representatives of governments, international organizations and aid groups will hear reports on the sharply deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria.

“People need to be aware of just how desperate the situation is inside Syria for the people there, how unbearable it is, and how they are suffering and falling into ever deeper despair and humanitarian need,” Ging said. “It’s just getting a lot worse very rapidly for the ordinary people.”


At the moment, he said, the UN and other aid organizations are only able to reach 1.5 million of the 2.5 million people in need of assistance inside Syria — and one of the reasons is funding.

Ging said the humanitarian program for Syrians still inside the country, and the program for Syrian refugees in camps in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and other neighboring countries, are both “seriously underfunded,” with donors providing less than 50 percent of the amount needed.

As of 2 November, the UN appeal for $348 million to provide food, water and other humanitarian aid for those inside Syria had received $157 million — just 45 percent of the requirement. Ging said about half the aid is being delivered to conflict areas and half to those who have fled to safer areas inside the country.

As of 23 October, the UN refugee agency said its appeal for $488 million to help Syrian refugees was only about a third funded.

Ging said a key message at today’s meeting will be an appeal for a broader base of donors to share the financial burden.

Activists say the 20-month civil war has killed more than 36,000 people and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes.

- Additional reporting from Associated Press.

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