CAIRO: The Arab League chief said the Syrian regime’s killing of civilians amounts to crimes against humanity and called for an international inquiry.
Nabil Al-Araby said Tuesday that it would not be ethical or moral to allow those behind the killings in the cities of Homs and Idlib to get away with their crime.
Syrian opposition activists have claimed that Syrian regime forces have killed scores of civilians, including women and children, in opposition strongholds over the past two days.
“There must be a neutral international investigation to unveil the truth of what is happening and to identify those responsible for these crimes and to bring them to justice,” Al-Araby said in a statement carried by Egyptian state news agency MENA.
More than 8,000 people have died in the Syrian uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad, according to the United Nations, including many women and children. Recent video footage showed dead bodies strewn in the streets of the cities of Homs, Idlib and Deir al-Zor.
“The acts of killing and horrendous elimination of whole families including women, children and elders can be described as crimes against humanity,” Al-Araby added.
On the same day, Chinese envoy Zhang Ming said China and Arab countries have agreed on the need to find a “political solution” to the crisis in Syria.
“We all recognize that there is great agreement between China and the Arab League for a political solution to the Syrian crisis,” the envoy said after talks at the Cairo headquarters of the 22-member bloc.
He told reporters he was on a mission to discuss a six-point Chinese initiative and talk with Arab officials ways of reaching “international agreement and finding a peace solution” to the Syria violence.
Under pressure from Western powers for twice blocking with Russia resolutions against Syria at the UN Security Council, China unveiled this month a six-point plan, calling for an immediate end to the conflict.
The initiative also calls for dialogue between President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime and the opposition and rejects foreign interference or “external action for regime change” in Syria.
Last week, China said it would be dispatching envoys to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and France to explain its position on Syria.
The West and the Arab world have been piling pressure on Assad’s regime to prevent a year-old uprising from spiraling into all-out civil war.
Beijing and Moscow have drawn heavy criticism for using their veto powers as permanent members of the Security Council to block resolutions condemning the crackdown, because they singled out Assad for blame.
On Monday, China’s UN ambassador Li Baodon insisted there could be no military intervention in Syria and denied that “self-interests” had motivated its veto of the UN Security Council resolutions.
Li also announced $2 million (€1.5 million) in humanitarian aid for Syria.
His remarks came as the United States and European powers stepped up on Monday pleas to Russia and China to join Security Council action to force Syria’s president to halt deadly attacks on protest cities.