U.N. Human Rights Council condemns foreign fighters in Syria

The United Nations Human Rights Council called for an end to the fighting in Syria on Wednesday, condemning the involvement of foreign fighters.

The Syrian civil war has lasted more than two years and escalated in the past year. The war has negatively affected civilians and soldiers in Syria: over 70,000 people have died in the conflict, millions are without homes and refugees flood neighboring countries.

The council adopted a new resolution that calls for the Syrian authorities to protect the Syrian population and put an immediate end to all attacks against civilians. The measure was adopted in a vote of 36 to one and also condemned the intervention of foreign fighters helping the Syrian regime.

"Day after day, children, women and men suffer the brutality of unbridled violence and gross human rights violations by all parties," Navi Pillay, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said. "The increasing number of foreign fighters crossing Syria's borders to support one side or the other is further fueling the sectarian violence, and the situation is beginning to show worrying signs of destabilizing the region as a whole."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said after the resolutions were passed that there is growing concern that the foreign fighters are also drawing in other fighters that could destabilize the region, for example the Lebanese group Hizbollah.

"Syria is disintegrating before our eyes," Ban said. "The chaos is creating fertile ground for radicalism and increasingly threatens regional stability."