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UN Chief Says Situation In Syria 'Intolerable'

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the situation in Syria is "unacceptable and intolerable."

Ban said Syria has become the "most troubling and most concerning issue for the international community" and he repeated calls to the Syrian government to allow unhindered humanitarian access.

Ban said the international community needs to demand an end to the violence. "We have no time to waste, no time to lose," Ban said during an official visit to Indonesia.

On March 19, the Syrian government's most powerful ally in the UN, Russia, joined the International Committee of the Red Cross in calling for a daily two-hour humanitarian cease-fire in Syria.

Russia's Foreign Ministry called on the government and "all armed groups who oppose it" to agree to the cease-fires "without delay."

The UN estimates the death toll from violence in Syria during the last 12 months is more than 8,000 people.

There was heavy fighting on March 19 in parts of Damascus. That follows explosions in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city, which killed some 30 people over the weekend.

With Reuters and dpa reports