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Syrian crisis: UN's Brahimi warns of 'unprecedented levels of horror'

UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned a closed meeting of the UN Security Council about the crisis.

Syrian rebels chemical weapons 2012 12 18Enlarge
A Syrian rebel fighter in the Aleppo neighborhood of Bustan al-Basr on Dec. 8, 2012. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images)

The United Nations-Arab League peace envoy for Syria said the conflict has reached "unprecedented levels of horror."

"The country is breaking up before everyone's eyes," Lakhdar Brahimi told a closed door meeting of the UN Security Council, the BBC reported. "Only the international community can help, and first and foremost the Security Council."

Brahimi told reporters Syria was being destroyed "bit by bit" and the conflict was affecting the region which "is being pushed into a situation that is extremely bad."

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The comments come after at least 65 bodies were found outside the northern city of Aleppo.

Brahimi warned the council not to say "we are in disagreement, therefore let's wait for better times."

The council has been deadlocked with Russia and China vetoing three of the councils past resolutions on Syria.

On Tuesday night, Russia hosted a dinner for Brahimi and other members of the Security Council but The New York Times said "there seemed to be little hope for a breakthrough."

“The same issues that have stymied the Council to date remain unresolved, so there is no obvious way forward,” US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told The Times.

Meanwhile, Syria's top opposition leader indicated his willingness to talk with representatives of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the first time on Wednesday.

Sheik Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, the leader of the Syrian opposition coalition, made the offer in conjunction with two demands, The New York Times reported. Al-Khatib asked for the release of 160,000 prisoners and the renewal of expired passports held by Syrians abroad.

"I announce that I am willing to sit down with representatives of the Syrian regime in Cairo or Tunisia or Istanbul," he said in the offer, which was published in Arabic on his Facebook page. Some opposition colleagues distanced themselves from the move, The Times said, saying he had not consulted with them before making the offer.

The UN says the conflict has left more than 60,000 people dead, the BBC reported.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/130129/syria-crisis-uns-brahimi-warns-unprecedented-levels-h