Syria - scathing international criticism

2012-09-05 17:09
A Syrian man walks by a house destroyed in a Syrian government bombing that killed more than 40 people, in Aleppo, Syria. (Muhammed Muheisen, AP)

A Syrian man walks by a house destroyed in a Syrian government bombing that killed more than 40 people, in Aleppo, Syria. (Muhammed Muheisen, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ankara - Syria came under scathing international criticism on Wednesday, with Turkey calling the country a terrorist state and Egypt's leader calling on President Bashar Assad to "learn from recent history" and step down.

Alluding to the fate of the authoritarian regimes in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen, which were overthrown by Arab Spring uprisings, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi warned his Syrian counterpart that "it's too late to talk about reform, this is the time for change."

Morsi's strong comments to Arab foreign ministers in Cairo followed an address last month during a summit meeting of the so-called non-aligned movement in the Iranian capital, Tehran, where the Egyptian leader gave a hearty call for world support of Syria's rebels. Iran is Assad's strongest foreign backer.

Also Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Assad's government.

"The regime has become one of state terrorism," he said. "Syria is going through a huge humanitarian saga. Unfortunately, as usual, the international community is merely watching the slaughter, massacre and the elimination of Muslims."

Turkey has become one of the strongest critics of Assad's regime and is host to Syrian opposition groups as well as some 80 000 refugees.

The regime's crackdown has led to worldwide condemnation and sanctions, weakened the economy and left Assad an international pariah just as he was trying to open up his country and modernize the economy. His few remaining allies include Iran, Russia and China.

Long civil war

Despite the condemnation, Syria appears poised for an increasingly drawn-out conflict. Neither the regime nor the rebels has gained a significant advantage in the crisis, which began nearly 18 months ago with largely peaceful protests but has since morphed into a civil war that activists say has killed at least 23 000 people.

As the conflict has grown increasingly militarised, it has also grown more deadly. On Wednesday, Syrian rebels said they shot down a government MiG jet and a helicopter.

A video posted online by the opposition showed the wreckage of a jet and the body of a pilot. The AP could not independently confirm the rebel claims or the video.

The commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army, breakaway air force colonel Riad al-Asaad, told the AP in a telephone interview from Turkey that rebels downed the aircraft in Abu al-Dhuhour, an area in the northwestern province of Idlib, five days ago.

The narrator of the online video, however, said the MiG was downed on Tuesday. The discrepancy could not be immediately reconciled.

Al-Asaad said the rebels used anti-aircraft missiles the FSA captured from Syrian army bases. Rebels have claimed before that they have shot down government planes. The regime has acknowledged crashes in the past, but blamed them on mechanical failures.

Read more on:    fsa  |  syria  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

It may be hard to maintain a steady rhythm as you find yourself juggling a zillion things. Slow down a little and let go of more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.