- (Reuters/Osman Orsal)
Over 2,900 people have been killed in Syria since the pro-democracy protests began six months ago, says the United Nations Human Rights office.
"According to the detailed list of names of individuals we've been keeping, the total number of people killed since protests began in Syria now stands at more than 2,900," Commission spokesman Rupert Colville said, according to AFP.
The previous death toll reported by the U.N. was 2,700. The updated toll does not include the people that remain unaccounted for nor the people reported missing in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
On Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council could not come to a resolution on whether to take action against Syria, with a European-backed draft U.N. Security Council resolution being rebuffed by Russia and China.
The U.N. Security Council (UNSC) broke its silence in August condemning the human rights violations that have occurred in Syria over the past 5 months.
The Security Council released a presidential statement that condemned the "widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities."
The council has been divided on the issue of Syria, with some members arguing not to meddle in the internal affairs of another nation while also fearing the weakening of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad may threaten an already unstable region.
However, other members of the council found the statement to be timely and necessary to stop the Syrian government from attacking its citizens.
British permanent representative to the U.N., Mark Lyall Grant, told reporters of the presidential statement, "We are condemning the real problem which is the brutality exercised by the Syrian regime against its people."
Grant continued by stating that the statement was sending a very clear message to Syria that the Security Council has its eyes on the country and will be paying very close attention to the actions of the Syrian government in the following days.
The presidential statement, decided upon by the 15-member council, comes on the heels of an intensified military campaign by the Syrian government in the city of Hama.
The city of Hama is the epicenter of the protest movement and as of Sunday has witnessed government forces rolling in and heavy shelling by tanks, snipers, and machine-guns.
Syria has blocked almost all foreign journalists from operating the country making the causalities and the realities of the government assault difficult to verify.
The Syrian authorities claim that they have moved into the city of Hama to confront "armed terrorist groups."
However, statements from people on the ground suggest that the government is attempting to crush the dissent out of the people of Hama.
An unidentified diplomat stated, "The security apparatus thinks it can wrap this uprising up by relying on the security option and killing as many Syrians as it thinks it will take."
With the presidential statement now released, hope ensues that the statement can mark a turning point in the deadly situation in Syria.