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Report warns of 'humanitarian disaster' in Syria

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By The Los Angeles Times
Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, 9:36 p.m.

The Syrian government bombed areas around Damascus on Monday as part of its push to keep rebel fighters out of the capital, leaving many children among the dozens killed, anti-regime activists said.

The latest violence is echoed in a study by an international aid group that labeled the almost two-year-old Syrian conflict “a regional humanitarian disaster” that is worsening. More than 2.5 million people have been forced from their homes while confronting bombings, sexual violence, food shortages and a general collapse in services, the New York-based International Rescue Committee reported.

“Inside Syria, the human and physical destruction is immense, the country's civic and social fabric is in shreds, and its economic foundation and infrastructure are devastated,” the study said.

The report is the latest in a series to document the dire panorama inside a nation that for decades had been one of the Middle East's most stable, albeit politically repressive, nations.

International diplomats have failed in efforts to impose a cease-fire on the crisis, which detonated in March 2011 when protesters took to the streets to protest against the government of President Bashar Assad.

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