Red Cross on Syria: We 'Can't Cope'

Its operation is increasing in scope, but the situation is worsening

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 8, 2012 7:18 AM CST

(Newser) – The situation in Syria has deteriorated to the point that the International Committee of the Red Cross "can't cope," its president announced today. "The humanitarian situation is getting worse despite the scope of the operation increasing," said Peter Maurer, who outlined the obstacles, as per the AP and BBC: Though the ICRC successfully reached parts of Homs last week, "blank spots" that it is unable to access, such as Aleppo, persist. It's also still waiting on a request to gain access to 25 of the country's main prisons, and says it's getting increasingly tough to reach victims even as casualties mount.

"The seriousness of the crisis is deepening with every day and this trend has been uninterrupted since summer," Maurer said. Meanwhile, an ever-defiant Bashar al-Assad swatted at the idea of exile—an option suggested by British PM David Cameron earlier this week—in an interview with Russian TV. "I am not a puppet made by the West to go to the West or to another country. I am Syrian ... I must live and die in Syria."

This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrians standing at the scene after a blast occurred according to footage and reports shown on State-run Al-Ikhbariya television.   (AP Photo/SANA)
This image taken from video obtained from Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated, shows women reacting as they stand amid rubble after heavy bombing from military warplanes, in Houla, Syria.   (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)
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