U.S. Pledges More Action Against Syria

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UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 23 (UPI) — Washington pledges to take additional measures against Syria at the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. ambassador to the United Nations said Tuesday.

The United Nations decided Tuesday to send a team of human rights investigators to Syria to assess alleged abuses during crackdowns on protesters.

The investigation will look at alleged violations of international human rights law and identify people responsible to ensure that those who committed the violations are held accountable.

A U.N. humanitarian team is already in Syria to assess such needs as food and medicine among the civilian population.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said she welcomed Tuesday’s decision by the Human Rights Council to investigate abuses in further detail.

“We will pursue additional action in the Security Council to increase pressure on the regime, and we call on the Syrian government to allow the (human rights) commission of inquiry to fulfill its mandate,” she said in a statement.

The United Nations estimates that some 2,000 civilians were killed at the hands of Syrian security forces since March. Several were reportedly killed following a recent visit by U.N. investigators.

British Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne said although international pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad is growing the ongoing bloodshed meant there could be no let up.

“President Assad has been completely rejected by the Syrian people,” he said. “I reiterate our call that he must step aside now.”

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