PARIS, May 29 (RIA Novosti) - The United Nations’ Human Rights Council on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the participation of foreign combatants on the side of the Syrian regime.
The Human Rights Council "condemns the intervention of foreign combatants fighting on behalf of the Syrian regime in Al-Qusayr" and expresses concern over the fact that their participation “poses a serious threat to regional stability,” the resolution says.
According to media reports, the nonbinding resolution, sponsored by US, Turkey and Qatar, refers to fighters from the militant group Hezbollah, but the text makes no explicit reference to Hezbollah.
Last Sunday the Syrian army opened up a huge offensive against rebel forces on four fronts, Lebanese TV channel Al Mayadin reported. Government troops attacked in Al Qusayr (Homs Province), Hama Province, Bars region (Damascus Province) and Deraa in the south on the border with Jordan, in what experts quoted by the channel said was an operation of unprecedented scale.
The attack on Al Qusayr involved militia from the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, an ally of the Assad regime, Al Jazeera reported. In a rare media interview on Saturday, President Assad denied his country's forces had outside assistance.
The Syrian rebels have suffered losses in the hundreds, as the offensive was opened with massive artillery fire, Syrian and Lebanese media said. Civilians fled Al Qusayr via a "safe corridor" in the west of the city, Al Mayadin reported.
Lebanon's national news agency reported a rocket strike from Syria had hit the town of Hermel in the north of Lebanon, just inside the border. There was no word of casualties as a result.
The UN resolution stated that it is necessary "to ensure accountability for those responsible for the massacre in Al-Qusayr, all those responsible for the serious violations of international humanitarian rights law in Syria."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized the draft resolution earlier in the day, saying it was a hindrance to forthcoming peace talks.
Russia and the US have been pushing this month for a peace conference in an effort to end the two-year Syrian conflict, which is threatening to spill over into neighboring states.
Lavrov also warned that the ongoing civil war in Syria, which has claimed the lives of some 80,000 people according to UN figures, is turning into “a inter-confessional” conflict, which, he said, could worsen the conflict between Muslims and followers of other religions in the region.