UN Syria envoy urges utmost be done to protect civilians

AP News
Posted: Oct 12, 2015 1:12 PM

BERLIN (AP) — The U.N. envoy on Syria is urging that the utmost be done to avoid civilian casualties as he tries to bring warring parties together to find a political solution in the country.

Staffan de Mistura said Monday that protection of civilians should be a priority and urged the Syrian air force to stop using inaccurate "barrel bombs."

"Since the Syrian authorities now do have, through the Russian involvement, the very accurate opportunity to actually address what they consider their enemies, there is no excuse for the most inaccurate weapon of this conflict," he said.

He noted slow progress on four working groups meant to discuss key issues before broader talks, saying the Syrian government had "announced its availability" while some opposition groups had "indicated their intention of being involved."