Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Syria / United Nations

UN Condemns Syrian Attacks on Civilians
Associated Press dispatch on, August 3, 2011
"The UN Security Council has condemned Syrian authorities for attacking civilians and committing widespread human rights violations. After more than three months of deadlock and silence on the escalating violence in Syria, the council adopted a presidential statement Wednesday afternoon condemning President Bashar Assad's crackdown on anti-government protesters. The trigger for the council to start negotiations on a text was the intense military assault launched by they Syrian government over the weekend that sent troops and tanks into the besieged city of Hama. Presidential statements require approval from all 15 council members. Lebanon, a neighbor and close ally of Syria, didn't block adoption of the statement, but it invoked a procedure last used 35 years ago and dissociated itself from the text. The White House also hardened its stance against Assad on Wednesday, saying the United States viewed him as the cause of instability in the country. 'We do not want to see him remain in Syria for stability's sake and, rather, we view him as the cause of instability in Syria,' Carney told a news briefing, toughening the US position on the Syrian leader who has launched military assaults against unarmed protesters.
While repeating the Obama administration's call for Assad to stop the violence, release thousands of detainees and make way for a democratic transition, Carney said the White House was also looking for more ways to squeeze Damascus. 'We will certainly continue to look at ways to take further steps to put pressure on the regime to end its violence. And we think, frankly, that it's safe to say that Syria would be a better place without President Assad,' he said. In Hama, Syrian tanks occupied the main square Wednesday after heavy shelling of the city, residents said, taking control of the site of some of the largest protests against Assad. Human rights campaigners say more than 90 people have been killed in Hama since Assad launched a military assault Sunday to regain control, triggering international condemnation and calls from U.S. senators for sanctions on Syria's energy sector. [...]"

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