News24

Syria fears grow as UN monitors fired on

2012-06-08 09:22

Damascus - Envoy Kofi Annan told the Security Council the Syria crisis will "spiral out of control" if more pressure is not put on the regime, after UN monitors trying to visit the site of a new massacre were fired on.

The UN-Arab League envoy's warning came before talks on Friday with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and as her Syria frontman meets Russian diplomats in a bid to persuade Moscow to back President Bashar al-Assad's removal from power.

Annan renewed calls for the major powers to warn Assad of "clear consequences" if he does not comply with a six-point international peace plan, one diplomat inside a closed-door council briefing at the United Nations said.

"The longer we wait, the darker the future looks for Syria," another diplomat quoted Annan as telling the council.

Annan called for "united" and "substantial" pressure on Assad. He said there must be "real results soon or the crisis will spiral out of control".

He spoke after shots were fired at a UN convoy of monitors which tried to get to the village of Al-Kubeir to investigate the slaughter of civilians there.

Killed with barbarity

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 55 people were killed in Wednesday's assault on Al-Kubeir, a small Sunni farming enclave surrounded by Alawite villages in the central province of Hama.

According to preliminary evidence, the Syrian army had surrounded the village, and militia had entered Al-Kubeir and killed civilians with "barbarity", UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was quoted as telling the Security Council.

Damascus denied responsibility for the massacre and, as it has done repeatedly in the past, pointed the finger at "terrorists" backed by foreign forces.

"A terrorist group committed a heinous crime in the Hama region which claimed nine victims. The reports by the media are contributing to spilling the blood of Syrians," state media said.

UN monitors had been prevented from entering Al-Kubeir but would make a new attempt to do so on Friday, UN spokespersons said.

After the UN meeting, Ban told reporters: "Syria can quickly go from a tipping point to a breaking point. The danger of a full-scale civil war is imminent and real, with catastrophic consequences for Syria and the region."

UN vehicles shot at everyday


"The Syrian people are bleeding. They are angry. They want peace and dignity. Above all, they all want action," Ban said.

He had told the meeting that heavy weapons, armour-piercing bullets and surveillance drones have all been used against the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to hamper its efforts to monitor the worsening conflict.

The tactics had been used to try to force the unarmed monitors to withdraw from areas where government forces have been accused of staging attacks, Ban was quoted as saying.

According to UN officials, UN vehicles are shot at almost every day in Syria, and at least two roadside bombs have also targeted UN convoys.

Ban praised the "brave" monitors but said the Security Council would have to consider whether the mission is "sustainable".

UN observers had seen Syrian military convoys approaching villages and tried to stop tank assaults against populated areas, but had been "ignored", Ban said.

Iran part of the solution?

The Security Council has passed two resolutions which approved the UN monitoring mission in Syria and condemned the violence there, but it is divided over how to increase pressure on the regime.

Russia, Syria's last major ally, and China have vetoed two council resolutions which only hinted at future sanctions. The United States and European nations want economic sanctions against Assad.

Annan said he was in discussions to set up an international contact group on the Syria crisis and that he hoped Iran would be part of the "solution".

But US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said Iran was a "spoiler" and "part of the problem in Syria".

"There is no question that it is actively engaged in supporting the government in perpetrating the violence on the ground," she told reporters.

"Iran has not demonstrated to date a readiness to contribute constructively to a peaceful political solution."

Russian veto

On the political front, Annan was to meet Clinton in Washington on Friday to discuss Syria, as her point man on the conflict Fred Hof visited Russia.

Russia and China have vetoed two Security Council resolutions against Assad's regime, but backed Annan's blueprint to end a conflict in which the Observatory says more than 13 500 people have died since March 2011.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov vowed there would be no UN Security Council mandate for outside intervention in Syria, indicating Moscow would use its veto to block any military action.

Comments
  • Fidel - 2012-06-08 10:02

    "Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov vowed there would be no UN Security Council mandate for outside intervention in Syria, indicating Moscow would use its veto to block any military action." Well done Russia, regime change is a criminal concept by definition. Why is it before a major UNSC meeting a massacre of civilians takes place in Syria. Who has most to gain in these, the converse being who has a lot to loose from this. "Cui bono? Who benefits?" Syria has already spiraled out of control because those who profess to be working for peace (a euphemism for regime change) have proliferated the place with all kinds of weapons to a rabble of armed unaccountable mercenaries. Annan has had no authority over these terrorists who seem to lack a coherent leadership, and he expects Assad to give over power to these miscreants, who haven't hesitated to kill their fellow civilians as well. No to Regime Change, any where in the world!!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-08 10:23

      Fidel, Regime change is working for Tunesia, Egypt and Libya !! In any of these three countries, you will only find a few, who would prefer to go back to the "good old days" If an illegitimate regime is slaughtering its opposition; REGIME CHANGE IS A MUST !!!!! End of story !

      Fidel - 2012-06-08 10:44

      There was no regime change in Tunisia and Egypt per se, in the true sense of the word. The revolutions that took place in those countries were spontaneous, organised internally by the citizens of those countries, hence no foreign based Transitional Council. Libya and now Syria are both different as they were instigated by foreign agents, based in foreign capitals, egged on and sponsored by their masters who lost allies in both Tunisia and Egypt. Nothing has changed in the military structures of these countries. Both Libya and Syria have "Bay of Pigs" written all over them, and that is what I am against, i.e. Western powers sponsoring the overthrow of foreign governments which refuse to be supplicants of Western powers. The US in particular has done this in over 50 countries, planting weak unpopular leaders against the wishes of the majority population. This is the principle I am against!

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-06-08 11:27

      Both in Tunisia and Eqypt , the leadership stepped down after comparably low levels of violence after peaceful demonstrations . These were still revolutions by definition : A revolution (from the Latin revolutio, "a turn around") is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time . Libya was different because Gadaffi launched his military at his own populace , the large part of the UN backed intervention was the air force being used against civilians. Syria , where an autocratic minority govt who has held the country under emergency law for 48yrs without voting rights (different from SA ?) decided to follow the Gaddaffi path and use military force on peaceful protests (note: has not used air force as a tool ,yet). There has been no evidence of 'western' intervention in Syria , Tunisia or Egypt . Libya's rebel transitional council recieved UN mandated military air assistance from Nato .(ps:SA sponosered the infamously feared sniper rifles to Gadaffi). I find it hard to beleive that the 'western' govt orchestrated the so called Arab spring revolutions, actually rather insulting to the poeple trying bitterly to move pass dictatorships and autocracies , maybe i'm not convinced they could pull it off or not paranoid enough to beleive it and the lure of conspiracy validated perspectives.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-08 11:29

      Fidel, You are good at writng your own history , the way it suits your silly anti Western feelings. To say that Libya's uprising was instigated by foreign agents, is just plain BS. The Libyan people had seen what happened in Tunesia and than was happening in Egypt. The first demonstrations by unarmed civilians started in Benghazi.And that was not the first attempt to overthrow this fruitcake. But what had changed, was what I believe the Arab Spring is all about; The end of a culture of FEAR. The demonstraters, UNARMED, kept going back onto the streets, knowing very well, they were risking their lives every single day, as this gaddafi terrorist had snipers on rooftops, shooting live amunition at them. Than gaddafi's tanks came into town, firing rockets at apartment blocks, and if that was not enough, gaddafi instructed 'his' airforce to attack the demonstrators from the air. ( YOU remember the Migs landing in Malta ! ) There was NO foreign intervention up till than. Only when the opposition, could see they could not possibly stand up against the monstrous terrorist army of gaddafi, did they ask Nato to assist them. Europe might have done many things wrong in history, but that they agreed, was a blessiong for Libya. You like it or not, but just about every Libyan will forever be grateful to Nato !!! And to say that the Transitional Council in Libya was ,ever, foreign based, is just your anti Western fantasy. It originated in Benghazi, and today is still based in Benghazi!!

      Fidel - 2012-06-08 12:42

      @Ninja The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt were started by the populaces indeed and the western powers were caught off gaurd. The west having lost allies in both these countries saw an opportunity to get rid of Gaddafi, and mask this as part of the so called Arab Spring. The French, British and Americans had planned this well in advance. See 'Operation Mistral' - a war game exercise on some mythical north African nation with a mythical dictator. "We hope Iraq will be the first domino and that Libya and Iran will follow (note, no Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar or Kuwait). We don't like being kept out of markets because it gives our competitors an unfair advantage," John Gibson, chief executive of Halliburton's Energy Service Group, International Oil Daily 7th May of 2003 (less than 7 weeks after the invasion of Iraq) The US and her allies have a history of instigating fake revolutions, in over 50 countries, and you are still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, despite all the historical evidence, and the accompanying motives. @Anthony The NTC was based in London and Paris, it was only after the fall of Tripoli that they relocated to Benghazi.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-08 13:03

      Fidel, Why you also want to confuse issues. we are talking about Tunesia, Egypt, Libya and Syria, and NOT about 50 countries you believe the West have done wrong. And who cares, besides you, what the CEO of an American company sais in 2003 !!!!!!!!!!!!! And WHY would the West wanted to get rid of gaddafi. That is just not true. The countries that wanted Libyan oil , got as much as they wanted, the USA was not interested at all in Libya. As a matter of fact at the outbreak of this uprising, the than US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, said that Libya had NO strategic importance for the USA. gaddafi was sleeping around in Europe with anyone wanting to pay. His ever so corrupt evil sons were living the Billionaire life style in New York, London and Paris. life was good ! NOBODY was complaining. Except the population of Libya who wanted to get rid of these gaddafi thugs. And although there were opposition leaders, to protect their lives, in London and Paris, the National TRANSITIONAL Council was established in Benghazi !!!

      Fidel - 2012-06-08 13:28

      Gaddafi being gotten rid of is because of the Gold Dinar proposal, and the financial clout that Libya had/has in financing projects in the continent without the participation of the Washington Consensus institutions whose only existence is to bleed African economies. Libya was investing on the implementation of three financial institutions launched by the African Union: the African Investment Bank, based in Tripoli, the African Monetary Fund, based in Yaoundé (Cameroon), the African Central Bank, based in Abuja (Nigeria). The development of these bodies would have enabled African countries to escape the control of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, tools of neo-colonial domination, and would mark the end of the CFA franc, the currency that 14 former French colonies are forced to use. This is true freedom Anthony, and not the noisy circus of one man, one vote, once, every 4-5 years. It is for this reason that France was leading this regime change in Libya because they would have had the most to lose if Africa was to move to the Gold Dinar currency, as would be the Americans. Google "RAMSCOM" and how the financing of this venture by Libya ($300mil donation to Africa) ensured that both a French bank and satellite corporation lost out on an income of $400 million p.a. from African states to rent the use of its satellites. You could understand all of this if you read "Confession of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins. I am under no obligation to educate you.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-08 15:40

      Delusional nonsense.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-08 15:50

      Yes, we heard all this beautiful stories before, as a matter of fact we were bombarded for one whole year , 24/7 with all this CRAP. It was the OIL, the Dinar, Al-Queda, and gaddafi was such a gooood man, free this, free that, cars at costs, microwave thrown in for free, life could not get any better. And all the fancy projects, ( including 5 star hotels ) this thug financed was money he STOLE from his own people, or it was part of the BILLIONS of Euro and Dollars this scum family got paid in bribes!!! ""and not the noisy circus of one man, one vote, once, every 4-5 years"" What an insult to Mandela for what you call; ""a noisy circus"" What a disgrace you are. YOU ARE AN ENEMY OF AFRICA But it is obvious you don't like elections. NOWHERE in Africa would ANY party achieve more than 5 % of the vote if they propagated this silly childish anti Western half baked pseudo intellectual BS of yours. Educated by you!!!, No thank you, I rather learn how to clean toilets !!

      Fidel - 2012-06-08 16:58

      It's quite amusing that none of you have been able to provide any counter argument or facts but instead rely on insults, attempt at ridicule and name calling to cover that up. Back to your logs, termites!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-08 17:41

      There's nothing to answer. The delusion died with its primary deluded architect.

      Fidel - 2012-06-08 21:37

      A conversation so likely to be unproductive is not worth continuing. I prefer exchanges where there is a possibility of a mutual increase in understanding. I am not interested in point scoring or repeating well-worn rhetorical positions.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-09 05:36

      The conversation around this deluded topic died when the deluded author died. End of story. If you want corroboration about its deluded nature, ask the Chinese government if they want their 1.3 trillion US dollars of US government bonds denuded by the hair-brained scheme that no-one was interested in pursuing anyway.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-08 10:07

    There can no longer be anyone, still denying that these assad thugs are slaughtering Syria's opposition. Even if everything was true that assad supporters claim, the very first step would still be, to get rid of this assad. How much worse can the situation get without this assad being in control? It is the opposite, within hours of assad and family departing, 95 % ofthe killings will stop. ASSAD OUT===NOW !!!

  • babaayaga.umar - 2012-06-08 11:04

    only few leaders are not hungry for power,It is unfortunate to find that most leaders find power so sweet that choose to die on power at expense of the life's of the mases they leads,then must you remain there to die on power?World leaders please do something about it...so that blood will not continue dropping for ground. May God help the World Amen.

  • Henry - 2012-06-08 13:10

    I don't know why some bloggers here get so upset by fidel. Her opinion and ideology matters not one ounce. The fact is ,assads regime will fall. Then irans will fall, and there's nothing the terrorist cheerleaders can do about it.Nothing......because those who have the power call the shots .Period.The end

      Fidel - 2012-06-08 13:55

      My opinions have as much right to be on here as yours, just because you don’t agree with them doesn’t mean they can't be aired here. "because those who have the power call the shots .Period.The end" What an honest arrogant statement, but still better than the bluster about spreading democracy and human rights. If only your western masters could grow some balls and stop hiding behind spin, confusing simpletons like Fred, Anthony and their ilk on these threads. Bravo Henry for calling it as it is!

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-06-08 14:39

      Fidel we just are with the other side and quite rightfully so. You are supporting genocide.

      Fidel - 2012-06-08 16:53

      The brain is much more sophisticated than being able to think only in black or white terms, us against them. I am neither with Assad nor against western powers. A binary world view is a lazy way of living one's life, but predictable under your circumstances. I suggest you learned to tax your brain a bit more, it might hurt in the beginning but is worth it.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-08 17:50

      Yes Fidel, you confuse your brain just a little more, and you will believe ---ASSAD--- is a new energy drink !!

      Fidel - 2012-06-08 21:36

      Blustering nonsense and silly insults will have very little impact on that fact.

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-08 13:13

    "Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov vowed there would be no UN Security Council mandate for outside intervention in Syria, indicating Moscow would use its veto to block any military action." Birds of a feather flock together. Putin's Russia is arming Assad. It is part of the killing of Syrians and the destruction Syria. The freer world should move ahead and confront Assad, the self-confessed surgeon of Syria, as soon as it has a clear strategy, a clear way forward. This will have to include the real threat of military action to eliminate Assad's ability to murder more Syrians and their families. Assad will not stop. He's made this very clear. Russia and China are enabling him. They should not be allowed to determine the freer world's response. They should not be allowed to create more murders, more destruction.

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