Assad regime blames West for humanitarian crisis in Syria

By REUTERS
December 15, 2012 19:05

 
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Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem told UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos on Saturday that US and EU sanctions on Syria were to blame for hardship in his country and urged the United Nations to call for them to be lifted.

Moualem also called on the United Nations to expand its relief efforts in Syria to include reconstruction "of what has been destroyed by the armed terrorist groups," state news agency SANA said, referring to the rebels.

The World Food Program (WFP) says as many as a million Syrians may go hungry this winter, as worsening security conditions make it harder to reach conflict zones.

The conflict has also driven a flood of Syrians to seek shelter in neighboring countries, which already host half a million registered refugees and perhaps hundreds of thousands more who have not declared themselves.

Two and a half million people have been displaced inside Syria, leading to fears of widespread suffering this winter.

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