- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
U.N. pulls nonessential international staff from Syria
Question of the Day
GENEVA — The United Nations has ordered all of its non-essential international staff to leave Syria, saying Monday that the escalating violence in the civil war-struck country is making it harder and more risky for humanitarian workers to do their jobs. The U.N. also plans to reduce some of its field work in the Arab state.
More than 40,000 people have been killed since Syrians began a revolt against President Bashar Assad in March of last year. Dozens of aid workers have been caught in the crossfire and killed.
Officials said up to a quarter of the 100 international staff working for several U.N. agencies could exit by week’s end.
The U.N. also has decided to halt field trips into Syria from the capital Damascus by its international staff except in certain emergency cases. Some U.N. agencies also are relocating staff from the hard-struck city of Aleppo, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
“The increasing insecurity is making it more difficult for humanitarian actors to operate and to address the needs of affected people,” said Radhouane Nouicer, the U.N.’s regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria.
“We are looking at how we can adjust our methods of work so that we continue to reach as many people in need as we can throughout the country.”
But while the U.N. is reviewing its contingency and aid plans, Nouicer said, “most of all, we need an end to the unrelenting violence. All calls, from all sides, for parties to honur their obligations to protect civilians in Syria have had little effect, and ordinary people are paying the price.”
Eight U.N. staff have been killed since the start of the 20-month uprising that has turned into a full-blown civil war. Eighteen volunteers with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, through which most international aid has been channeled, also have been killed, including seven while they were on duty.
The fighting over the past few weeks in and around Damascus has been the most serious in the capital since July, when rebels captured several neighborhoods before a swift government counteroffensive swept them out.
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll - Washington Times#.U9ZSgi7-CXU.twi
- Russia violating 1987 nuclear missile treaty
- RAHN: When money mischief goes global
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq