U.N. Chief Hits Back at Assad over Crackdown Death Tollإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday hit back at criticism from Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, insisting that information on the number of deaths in the government crackdown is "very credible."
Ban told reporters during a trip to the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya that he could not believe that less than 4,000 people had been killed, as Assad's government has claimed.
"All the credible information is that more than 4,000 people have been killed by the government forces. The high commissioner for human rights has made it already clear through all the various sources, very credible sources," Ban said.
In an interview with U.S. television this week, Assad dismissed the death toll of more than 4,000 given by the U.N., insisting that 1,100 soldiers and police had been killed.
"Who said that the United Nations is a credible institution?" Assad declared.
However, the U.N. secretary general said the global body has dealt with "violations of human rights issues which have been happening in Syria and elsewhere on a very impartial, fair, objective and credible basis.
"This is on the basis of the spirit and letter of the United Nations Charter. As secretary general I can clearly state that United Nations missions will always be based on fairness and impartiality, neutrality, the protection of human rights and dignity," he said.