U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that the international community needs to act quickly to stem the yearlong bloodshed in Syria, saying even a one-minute delay means more deaths.
It's the most crucial issue facing the world today, Ban told reporters in the Indonesian city of Bogor, south of the capital, Jakarta.
The United Nations says well over 8,000 people have been killed as a result of the government's bloody crackdown on protesters, and there were signs this week that Syria's outgunned opposition was increasingly turning to insurgent tactics.
Rebels were battling the regime with machine guns and automatic rifles in a heavily protected, upscale area of the capital, Damascus, leaving at least three people dead and many more wounded.
"We have no time to waste, no time to lose," Ban said on the first stop on an Asian tour that will also bring him to Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. "Just one minute, one hour delay will mean more and more people dead."