By Al Arabiya with Agencies
An increasing number of Syrian soldiers are defecting to the opposition, raising the risk of a Libyan-style civil war in Syria, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said on Wednesday.
“Where basic human rights are trampled and peaceful demands for change met by brutal violence, people are eventually compelled to have recourse to rebellion against tyranny and oppression,” Pillay told the U.N. Security Council.
“It happened in Libya, it may happen in Syria,” she said during a debate on protecting civilians in armed conflict. “More and more soldiers refuse to become complicit in international crimes and are changing sides. There is a serious risk of Syria descending into armed struggle.”
Iran vowed Wednesday it “will not budge an iota” from its nuclear path despite a new U.N. report hardening suspicions it is seeking atomic weapons, as an Iranian general warned Israel of “destruction” if it launched an attack.
The words of defiance fell while the United States and its allies said they were looking at imposing more sanctions on Iran, and Tehran’s chief ally, China, urged the Islamic republic to cooperate with the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency.