News / Middle East

Clinton Slams Russia on Syria

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smiles during a forum with students at the Royal Library in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 31, 2012.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smiles during a forum with students at the Royal Library in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 31, 2012.
COPENHAGEN - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says continuing Russian support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is blocking United Nations action to end 15 months of violence and could help lead to civil war. Clinton is in Denmark, at the beginning of a one-week trip to Europe.

Secretary Clinton says "very strong opposition" from Russia is making it harder to put together an international coalition against President Assad. But, she says Washington is not giving up on such a coalition, because "every day that goes by makes the case stronger."

Clinton told a question-and-answer session with youth leaders in the Danish capital that, without Russian support, U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan cannot expand his mandate to push Damascus to confront what she calls terrible dangers.

Clinton says the continuing slaughter of innocent people by the military, by pro-government militia and by government opponents could become civil war. In a country already riven by sectarian divides.  She says that could quickly become a regional proxy war.

"You have Iran deeply embedded in Syria," she said. "Their military are coaching the Syrian military. Their so-called Quds force, which is a branch of the military, is helping them set up these sectarian militias. And, you have Russia continuing to supply them arms."

Clinton says the threat of wider regional conflict is fed by cross-border security concerns in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

"We know it could actually get much worse than it is. And, we are trying to prevent that," she said. "And, my argument to the Russians is they keep telling me they don't want to see a civil war. And, I have been telling them their policy is going to help contribute to a civil war. It is not a satisfactory answer yet, but we are trying to keep pushing all the pieces together to support Kofi Annan as an independent voice because the Syrians are not going to listen to us. They will listen, maybe, to the Russians. So we have to keep pushing them."

Russia's Interfax news agency Thursday quoted President Vladimir Putin's spokesman as saying Russia's position on Syria is well-known, balanced, consistent, and completely logical. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov says "it is hardly appropriate to talk about this position changing under someone's pressure."

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon told a forum in Turkey Thursday that recent massacres of civilians could plunge Syria into a "catastrophic civil war" from which the country would never recover.

You May Like

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

Euro falls after European Central Bank announces a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program More

Saudi King’s Death Clears Succession Route

Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef is Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince-in-waiting More

Cloud Hangs Over US Counterterrorism Efforts in Yemen

Sources say resignations of Yemen's president, government has left US anti-terror operations 'paralyzed,' yet an American military 'footprint' remains More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Observer from: Southeastasia
June 01, 2012 12:30 AM
China and Russia have now obtained wider and stronger control over other countries than the US cum Europe. Probably in the near future the US and Europe too will come under their influence, and later control if Obama and European leaders continue to be mostly bogged down in the economic issues of their countries.


by: klare
May 31, 2012 10:49 AM
Clinton made LIBya and now SYRIA rebellionsAs chaos consumes Libya, with death squads roaming the fractured nation committing atrocities, torture, racist genocide, and mired in infighting, and with the violence in Syria now fully exposed as foreign terrorists organized, armed, directed, and staged since 2007 by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, one might think journalists today would be careful about invoking these "successes" while trying to sow destabilization elsewhere. But for Russian "journalist" Yulia Latynina, repeating US State Department talking points, no matter how hypocritical, no matter how oafishly in contradiction to reality, is just another day on the job.


by: Dan Good from: Mamer, Luxembourg
May 31, 2012 9:42 AM
What Clinton says sounds neither credible or sincere. First, the Syrians have always cooperarated with America. And Bashad is not a hated dictator, as he is ususally portrayed. Secondly, who is the opposition in Syria? Its leaders seem to be outside of Syria, in the same way as "opposition" to Iraq was outside Iraq. Ahmed Chalabi comes to mind. Russia and China have said clearly that they feel betrayed by NATO's conduct in Lybia and do not want a repeat of that debacle. Why does Clinton pretend to be surprised now by resistence of Russia and China? If the US can go alone anyway, whihc it can, no one can stop it. So why put up a pretence? Bismarck was better at play acting back in the 1870's than the USA today. And in the end Bismarck created a strong country that was universally feared and reviled. Is that what Clinton is trying to do? Americans overseas can feel the embarrassement of their country's shinanigans. The best policy for the US would be to reduce its military spending and start serious cooperation with allies and adversaries. An increasingly confrontational world is being created and it made possible by US abuse of powers granted to it after WW II at Bretton Woods by defeated Europe. Europe does not want to go back to those days. But is seems the US is itching to do so.


by: briancutshall from: Texas
May 31, 2012 9:17 AM
Why should Russia change its stance? Syria is spending millions for arms and munitions and Russia is the benefactor. Russia is making millions of dollars supplying Syria with these arms. bite the hand that feed you? Not likely.


by: carlos lascoutx from: mexico
May 31, 2012 9:08 AM
...Russia saying their support for Syria is consistent means
they approve the massacre of their own citizens to maintain
the increasingly unpopular longevity of Putin, are willing to risk
civil war to do so, have abandoned any pretence of a democratic electoral system, will continue to oppress their people through their wormy judicial system, and/or brute force.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid