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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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