UN withdraws foreign staff from Syria
New York: The UN said on Monday that it is withdrawing foreign staff from Syria over security conditions after mortar shells fell near a hotel housing its employees.
Russian envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said the move was regrettable, but that it demonstrated the gravity of the situation in the war-ravaged nation.
Mortar fire damaged the hotel building and some cars in the parking lot, including one UN vehicle.
Around 100 international and 800 domestic employees work for a variety of UN agencies and programs in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
While foreign employees are being pulled out of the country to locations including Beirut and Cairo, national staff has been instructed to work from home, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.
Nesirky said the organisation "remains active and committed to helping the Syrian sides in their search for a political solution".
He also said the UN would maintain enough capacity to run critical humanitarian projects and provide for people in need.
"This is a priority for the UN," Nesirky said.
About 70,000 people have died in Syria since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, according to UN figures.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Ceasefire violations by Pak: Should India carry out surgical strike part-II?
- Pak High Commission staffer grilled for spying, asked to leave India
- Panel discussion on the need of Pakistan's ambassador in India
- Intelligence agencies warn of firing by Pakistan along LoC, international border
- Meet Lynlee Hope - Texas baby who was 'born' twice!
- Pakistan's brutality exposed; `Black Day` protesters thrashed in PoK - Video goes viral
- Pakistan High Commission staffer, briefly detained for espionage, asked to leave India in 48 hours
- Diwali 2016: Dhanteras Puja timings, Tithi and Vidhi
- Pakistan declares Indian High Commission official persona non grata, asks him to leave country
- UPA govt thought of attacking Lashkar HQ, training camps after 26/11 strike, claims ex-NSA Shivshankar Menon