Syria intervention 'not right path': Nato

2012-06-13 10:59

Sydney - Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday that foreign military intervention was "not the right path" in Syria despite the UN's peacekeeping chief declaring the country in civil war.

Rasmussen said there were "no plans at this stage" for a Nato operation, as he condemned the UN Security Council failure to reach agreement as a "big mistake", saying Russia could have an "instrumental role" in brokering peace.

"A foreign military intervention is not the right path in Syria," the Nato chief said in a speech to Australian journalists, calling instead for a political solution as envisaged by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

"Having said that, I strongly condemn the behaviour of the Syrian security forces and the crackdown on the civilian population.

"It is absolutely outrageous what we are witnessing and [there is] no doubt that the regime in Syria is responsible for violations of the international law," he added.

"I strongly urge the Syrian leadership to accommodate the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and introduce freedom and democracy."

14 100 killed

Rasmussen, who is visiting close Nato ally Australia, said he was not sure "from a legal point of view" whether what was happening could be considered civil war, as claimed by UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous.

"But definitely and very clearly the situation is Syria is very serious, and we have seen horrendous acts conducted by the regime and forces loyal to the regime and I strongly condemn these acts."

Activists say about 14 100 people have now been killed in the uprising against the Assad family, which has ruled Syria for some four decades.

World powers are groping to find a way to end the bloodshed with the toll growing daily despite a ceasefire that should have gone into effect from 12 April, and amid reports of children being used as human shields.

Ladsous said there had been such a massive increase in violence that "it indicates some change of nature" of the conflict, agreeing it could be seen as a civil war.

Without a change to the escalating violence US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has questioned whether it would be feasible to extend the UN mission in Syria once its 90-day mandate expires on July 20.

Russia’s role

Clinton has also accused Russia, a longstanding ally of Syria, of helping to escalate the violence by sending attack helicopters to President Bashar al-Assad's military forces.

Rasmussen, too, had a "very clear message" for Russia, saying it could play a pivotal role in facilitating a political solution and had a responsibility to wield its influence "and live up to [its] international obligations".

"I strongly regret that the UN Security Council failed to reach an agreement on a legally binding resolution on Syria. I think that failure sends a very unfortunate, not to say dangerous, signal to the Assad regime," he said.

  • lotus.river.5 - 2012-06-13 11:28

    Oh nato must just shut up!when it was lybia they were quick to drop bombs but now that its their buddy assad,they will drag this whole conflict for ages and watch assad killing and torture his own kins men.

      ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-06-13 12:17

      wake up fool ..NATO is not Assad's buddy. really the only ones supporting him are Russia and China, presumably because of their interests in that country

      ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-06-13 12:39

      and the Venezuela muppets

  • William - 2012-06-13 11:36

    "Military intervention is not the right path in Syria" so says the same organization that spearheaded the bombing of LIBYA and ensuing distraction of the country's infrastructure. What makes the difference between the two situations? People are being killed in SYRIA at a greater rate than in LIBYA. Can we then assume that what actually took NATO to LIBYA was more than just protecting the innocent civilians specifically Oil and its Natural gas deposit plus the foreign currency that the NATO member states were hoarding? " DOUBLE STANDARDS" We should all reread George ORWELL'S ANIMAL FARM .

      ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-06-13 12:26

      Don't let your imagination get too carried away William. if it was all about the oil and gas in Libya, well Syria has a lot of oil and gas too ! I just don't think NATO/UN wants to get dragged into all these new conflicts. then whats next, Lebanon ? and next ? tho if it carries on much longer or gets even worse, they may have to

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-13 18:40

      William, ""What makes the difference between the two situations?"" For starters, at the beginning of the Libyan uprising, the opposition in Libya asked Nato to interfere, in contrast the opposition in Syria asked Nato NOT to interfere. Now, that they have done so, it is a very complicted situation, with the UN deeply involved in this conflict. That oil story is soo warn out now, The US never had any Libyan oil pre abbatoir, while this gaddafi terrorist was visiting the abbatoir or after abbatoir. The few European countries that bought Libyan oil pre abbatoir, now buy LESS. The majority of Libyan oil goes to......China I suggest you read George Orwell's Animal Farm another 25 times, maybe you will than understand it a little !!!!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-14 19:17

      Patrick, I have now deleted my comment to you, as it lowers the standard of these sites, LIKE MOST OF YOUR COMMENTS DO !!!

  • monde.sibisi - 2012-06-13 11:52

    Nato is full of nonsense they should just admit that they fear a barbaric retaliation from Syria

      ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-06-13 12:27

      huh ??? like what ???

  • Christian J Denyschen - 2012-06-13 11:57

    I don't understand some ppl sometimes, when nato went to Libya they cry get out its not their fight but now that they are staying out of Syria they cry again. Please ppl don't come with the no oil argument cause if you go and google you will see they have oil and a lot of it.

      andrew.lexar - 2012-06-13 18:43

      It's not about the quantity of oil , it's a matter of controlling it! (i.e dominance).Control the source and they control the world.And thereafter control everything that every person can think, say & act on. Even "peace" keeping organizations like the UN & NATO need to be policed by an international judiciary. But what we have are two rogue organizations being steered only by an "elitist agenda" and becoming a new international form of "dictator" in the world who no longer think that they are subject to international laws. This is a clear warning signal of the two organizations having reached their overripe stage and are now faltering into the rotting stage.

  • Martin - 2012-06-13 12:05

    UN-involved as usual, no oil? scary man with chemical weapons, please you have equipment to deal with anything, i have no respectfor our northen hemisphere, warmongering twats

  • Jimmy - 2012-06-13 12:10

    Syria learnt from Libya that after NATO are done with target practice there will be practically no country to look at or talk about.

  • jans.opresser - 2012-06-14 01:31

    Russian nuclear TYPHOON CLASS SUBMARINES will ALWAYS make nato come to their senses!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-06-14 17:28

      Jans, Is that the 'class summarine' that sank to the bottem of the Barend Sea a few years ago, trapping 100 sailors inside ??????? Than Nato would be scared, the next time, they might be asked to rescue the Russiana !!!!!!!!!!!

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