Feb. 13 - Amateur video out of Syria appears to show ongoing violence as diplomats engage in a war of words. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Amateur video out of Syria appears to show the continued assault on Homs. The video, which could not be independently verified by Reuters , comes as the United Nations is ratcheting up pressure on the Syrian Regime. Navi Pillay is the UN High Commissioner for Human rights. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NAVI PILLAY, UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, SAYING: "Distinguished members of the General Assembly. I am outraged by these serious violations. I am very distressed that the continued ruthless repression and deliberate stirring of sectarian tensions might soon plunge Syria into civil war. The longer the international community fails to take action, the more the civilian population will suffer from countless atrocities committed against them." In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after meeting with her Turkish counterpart is once again calling on Syria to stop the violence. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON, SAYING: "The United States and Turkey have again called on the regime to heed the Arab League's latest efforts as well as the international community to end the killing immediately; withdraw military forces from residential; areas, allow in monitors and journalists, release political prisoners, and begin a genuine, sincere , democratic transition that starts with a respectful serious, dialogue with the opposition." The United Nations estimates that more than 5,400 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began last March. The Syrian government has blamed the violence on foreign baked terrorist groups. Syria's Ambassador to the U.N. Bashar Ja'afari (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIA'S U.N. AMBASSADOR BASHAR JA'AFARI, SAYING: "The vast losses in Syria among civilians and security forces is a deep wound. We are sad, but we place the responsibility for those losses at the door of those who are attempting to obtain political interests by using our blood as currency. And I would say to those 'Stop killing my people. Stop your plots against Syria. Help the Syrian people. Help the Syrian government to combat terrorism and to satisfy legitimate demands from the people for reform.'" The Arab League now has a proposal to send in foreign peacekeepers to Syria, a move Russia said it could only support if the violence stops. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.