UN's Guterres: Syrian conflict most brutal since Cold War


A Syrian internally displaced woman and child are reflected in a puddle of water in the Bab al-Hawa camp along the Turkish border in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, on March 18, 2013.



The director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, recently described the war in Syria to The Guardian as "the worst" world conflict since the end of the Cold War.

Over 70,000 people have been estimated killed since violence broke out there over two years ago in a conflict sparked by a peaceful anti-government movement against Syria's longtime leader, President Bashar al-Assad. 

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As the Syrian regime moved to crush the uprising, an armed rebel movement arose in its defense, triggering an exchange of violence that saw the exodus of over 100,000 of the nation's own people — about a quarter of the population, said The Economist

More than half of those left behind will be needing humanitarian assistance by the end of the year, Guterres told The Guardian, describing the situation as absolutely "incomprehensible." He went on to state:  

"This is the most brutal [conflict], even with very brutal conflicts elsewhere. If one looks at the impact on the population, or the percentage of the total population in need, I have no doubt that since the end of the cold war it is the worst. And it will become even worse still if there is no solution. ... this is the most dramatic humanitarian crisis that we have ever faced. Then if we look at the geopolitical implications, I have no doubt that this is the most serious that we have ever dealt with."

Guterres is not one to make such comments lightly, observed The Economist, calling him "a man of experience" given his eight years as high commissioner and experience as the former premier of Portugal. 

Meanwhile, in Damascus, two mortar bombs killed seven people and wounded scores in the regime-held Jaramana area, said Reuters. Also Wednesday, regime forces captured a town east of the capital, choking off a key rebel supply link, activists told Reuters