News / Middle East

US: UN Must Stop Syria's Vicious Crackdown

Syrian army defectors secure an anti-Syrian regime protest in the Deir Baghlaba area of Homs province, Jan. 27, 2012.
Syrian army defectors secure an anti-Syrian regime protest in the Deir Baghlaba area of Homs province, Jan. 27, 2012.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday the United Nations must act to end what she calls the Syrian government's "violent and brutal attacks on its own people." Russia opposes U.N. action and says the government in Damascus has agreed to talks in Moscow.

In a written statement, Clinton said the U.N. Security Council must “make clear to the Syrian regime that the world community views its actions as a threat to peace and security.”

Clinton heads to the United Nations on Tuesday to back an Arab League resolution against President Bashar al-Assad because, she said, the longer his government “stands in the way of a peaceful transition, the greater the concern that instability will escalate and spill over throughout the region.”

State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Secretary Clinton is going to the United Nations for what she said will be “a very strong opening conversation” on the Syria resolution, where she will be joined by her French and British counterparts.

"She is going to send a very clear message that we support the Syrian people. We stand with you. We stand with you in your hope and aspiration for a better, more democratic future. And first and foremost that the violence is going to end,” said Nuland.

Syrian opposition activists say government troops have retaken control of several Damascus suburbs in heavy fighting with rebels engaged in a 10-month long uprising against President Assad.

Nuland said the withdrawal of Arab League monitors - who the government prevented from fully carrying out their mandate - has opened the way for more killing.

"We are gravely concerned that as these Arab League monitors have pulled out, [and] the Syrian regime has taken this as an excuse to just let loose in horrific ways against innocents,” said Nuland.

Russia and China oppose U.N. action on Syria, with Russia calling for national dialogue to end the political crisis. Russia's foreign ministry on Monday said Damascus has agreed to send a delegation to Moscow for talks with opposition activists.

A foreign ministry statement says Russia hopes that opposition representatives also will agree to attend. Senior members of the opposition Syrian National Council reject the idea.

Analyst Marou Innocent of the Washington-based Cato Institute research group said Russia's call for talks in Moscow is meant to weaken momentum for U.N. action.

“This is sort of a way for Russia to have a stake in the game, but also sort of hedge against a lot of the criticism and backlash it has been having from the West,” said Innocent.

Middle East expert Steve Heydemann of the United States Institute of Peace said there is deep concern in Moscow that the fall of the Damascus government would weaken Russia's standing in the region.

“If the regime were to change and Syria were to move in a more pro-Western direction, I think the Russians would view that as a blow to their strategic posture in the region. And so one of the things that the U.S. might do is offer reassurances to the Russians that even if a process of regime transition happens in Syria, they won't be left out,” said Heydemann.

Asked about Russia's plans for Syrian talks in Moscow, State Department Spokeswoman Nuland said the first priority must be an end to fighting.

"Again, there have been plenty of talks outside Syria over the last few months. It is very difficult to see how you address the real dangers and the real concerns unless and until the violence comes to an end,” said Nuland.

Facing the threat of a Russian veto over U.N. action on Syria, a senior U.S. diplomat said it is time for the Russians to decide whether “they are going to continue to give cover to this kind of action,” which the United Nations estimates has killed more than 5,000 people.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid