Peres: World not doing enough to stop Syrian killing

President tells Israel Radio he respects rebels for going up against Assad

Israel president Shimon Peres (photo credit: Yonathan Sindel/Flash90)
Israel president Shimon Peres (photo credit: Yonathan Sindel/Flash90)

The world is not doing enough to stop the bloodshed in Syria, President Shimon Peres said late Saturday night before departing to Washington.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Peres said the killings in Syria were getting worse.

“The killings are growing more and more every day and it’s scandalous,” Peres said. “I have much respect for the rebels who go out to protests everyday, facing live fire, and I hope they win.”

Peres was on his way to Washington to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is expected to meet with US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other officials during the state visit.

“We are all human beings,” Peres said. “Who can be indifferent to the sight of  this horrible massacre, the sight of children in small coffins, and of screaming mothers?”

Peres added that many thousands of people have been “slaughtered by a ruthless dictator over the past year.  Sooner or later it will be necessary to intervene in order to save lives. I hope that it will be sooner.”

Earlier Saturday, Likud MK Ayoub Kara reiterated Israel’s offer to treat wounded Syrians, and said Syrian President Bashar Assad was using chemical weapons against his people.

Kara also told Israel Radio that Israeli doctors are currently on the border between Syria and Turkey treating people injured in the violent clashes between Assad’s troops and opposition forces.

Saturday saw some of the heaviest fighting in the 15-month uprising, as rebels staged an attack on Damascus. Syrian forces shelled a number of towns around the country, killing 96, according to the Local Coordination Committees, a Syrian opposition group.

Some 13,000 people have been killed since the uprising began last year, according to estimates by Syrian activists.

Regarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Peres said that he sees it as a great honor, but he is “only the messenger. The true recipient of this award is the State of Israel.”

“I am pleased that the United States sees fit to award such an important prize to Israel, during such a difficult period. I hope that this will make our relationship a closer one.”

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