Bloomberg News

UN’s Pillay ‘Acknowledges’ Assad Claim of 1,000 Soldiers Killed

December 09, 2011

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- The United Nations’ top human-rights official today said she acknowledged President Bashar al-Assad’s claim that at least 1,000 of his own security forces have died in the nine-month conflict as she renewed her warning about the risks of a “fully-fledged civil war.”

“I acknowledge that almost 1,000 of President Assad’s security forces have also been killed in this conflict and this is why I am alerting the world that as you have more and more defectors from the security forces this may well develop into a fully-fledged civil war,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told reporters today in New York.

This is the first time Pillay has publicly recognized Assad’s figures on the number of casualties among his own military while sticking to her estimate that more than 4,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

“Somebody is killing innocent protesters there and we need to establish who,” she said. “We would be better placed if we could gain access the situation. This is why I do believe having

many trained observers in the country will give us a proper understanding even of his own assertion and his version of events.”

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at

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