Syrians' New Woe: Soaring Crime

Ban Ki-moon warns: No one will win this war
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2012 8:08 AM CDT
Syrians' New Woe: Soaring Crime
A Syrian gunman shoots on the air during the funeral of 29 year-old Free Syrian Army fighter, Husain Al-Ali, who was killed during clashes in Aleppo, in the town of Marea on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012.   (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

As the Syrian conflict rages on, police officers have abandoned their stations and the civilian infrastructure has all but disappeared. The result: soaring crime. Despite rebel attempts to monitor the situation, kidnapping and theft have become commonplace, the New York Times reports, relaying the tale of a kidnapped businessman (released after a week once his family paid a $30,000 ransom) and a 65-year-old robbed of $70 in his garden in the middle of the afternoon. "No one wants to leave their houses, because you never know who is going to stop you or attack you," says an Aleppo resident.

Meanwhile, fighting continues in the city, with government forces regaining control of a key district, Reuters reports. Regardless, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warns of a "long-term civil war" that will have "no winner." Indeed, any gains in the rebels' arsenal and territory are accompanied by rivalries in their ranks. Both military defectors and the original members of the opposition see themselves as the leaders in the struggle against the regime, the Los Angeles Times notes. Enduring America sums it up: It's a war of attrition. (More Syria stories.)

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