News / Middle East

Clinton: Syria Death Toll Exceeds 2,000

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (r) with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird at the State Department in Washington,  Aug. 4, 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (r) with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird at the State Department in Washington, Aug. 4, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that U.S. officials believe more than 2,000 people have been killed in the Syrian government’s months-long crackdown on dissent.  Meeting her Canadian counterpart, Clinton appealed for a “louder, more effective” international response to the violence.  

Clinton said the U.N. Security Council’s presidential statement late Wednesday condemning Syrian human rights violations reflects a growing international consensus against the violence, which she said has claimed more than 2,000 lives.

But she said it will take more to stop the killing and that European and Arab countries need to join the United States in imposing tougher sanctions and other penalties against the Damascus government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Clinton met with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird after the U.S. Treasury Department added another prominent Syrian businessman and Assad associate, Muhammad Hamsho, to its list of Syrians facing a U.S. asset freeze and business blacklist.

Clinton said the United States is committed to doing all it can, including additional sanctions, to curb the abuses.  But she said the U.S. effort needs help from countries with broader business dealings with Syria.

“But not just U.S. sanctions because, frankly, we do not have lot of business with Syria," said Secretary Clinton. "We need to get Europeans and others [involved].  We need to get the Arab states.  We need to get a much louder, more effective chorus of voices that are putting pressure on the Assad regime, and we’re working to obtain that.”

Canadian Foreign Minister Baird said the international response on Syria has been hampered by the lack of the kind of mandate in the United Nations that authorized military action against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

“The situation in Syria, the actions of the Assad regime, are obviously abhorrent," said Baird. "The way they’ve acted in recent weeks, months, even in the last 48 hours in Hama, is absolutely disgraceful.  Regrettably, we don’t have the same amount of international support at the U.N. for this.  So I think in the absence of that, what we’ve got to continue to do is to work with like-minded allies.  There’s no country who can single-handedly tackle this challenge.”

Suggesting that international outrage on Syria is growing, Clinton said the consensus in the U.N. Security Council for the statement approved on Wednesday could not have been achieved just a week ago.

“The step that we did see made last night in the Security Council was the first step in what we hope will be continuing steps to try to unite the world in both rhetorical outrage, but in actions that will send a very clear message to the Assad regime, the insiders there, that there’s a price to pay for this kind of abuse and attacks on their own people," said Clinton.

Earlier, the State Department dismissed as “empty rhetoric” an announcement by the Syrian leader that he would allow reforms -- including letting opposition parties operate for the first time.

It said U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, who is in Washington this week for his Senate confirmation hearing, will return to his post on Friday, despite Congressional calls that he be withdrawn to protest Syria's actions.   

You May Like

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid