News / Middle East

Clinton: Syria Engaging in 'Horrific' Attacks Against Own People

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waves on arrival at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, June 11, 2011.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waves on arrival at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, June 11, 2011.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Syria is engaging in what she calls "horrific" attacks against its own people, but the international community is not currently considering military action against the government in Damascus because regional leaders are working behind the scenes to resolve the crisis.

Secretary Clinton says the international community is concerned about what is going on in Syria as thousands of refugees cross into Turkey. But there are no plans at present to act militarily against President Bashar al-Assad because, unlike Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Clinton says there is not a regional consensus against Syria.

"Syria, for example, is engaging in horrific, revolting attacks on its own people," said Clinton.  "The region, however, is trying to, behind the scenes, get the government to stop. And they believe that that at the time is the best way to go forward. So we listen very closely to what people in the neighborhood, in the region say."

Secretary Clinton spoke in an interview with the television channel Africa 360 in which she was asked to explain how the international community decides to intervene militarily. She said the ongoing NATO campaign against Gadhafi came from both the Arab League and the United Nations.

"We knew that he had an incredible military capacity, so when the Arab League asked the United Nations to act, that was a very significant development," added Clinton.

Secretary Clinton says there is no guidebook for justifying military intervention, but there are certain factors to consider.

"When there are situations that develop where the region itself says, 'This is unacceptable. We have to do something.' Or in Cote d'Ivoire where the United Nations was there to try to keep peace and unfortunately former President Gbagbo was intent upon waging war," Clinton added.

Secretary Clinton is in Tanzania for talks with President Jakaya Kikwete before traveling to Ethiopia for an address Tuesday at the African Union.

State Department officials traveling with the Secretary say Libya will feature prominently in those remarks. They admit that African nations are divided over the revolt against the Gadhafi government, but the Obama administration is encouraged that all three African members of the U.N. Security Council - Nigeria, Gabon, and South Africa - voted for the resolution authorizing military force, and the leaders of Senegal and Mauritania have now joined calls for Gadafi to leave power.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs