News / Middle East

UN Security Council Condemns Damascus Embassy Attacks

Syrian soldiers and police members secure the area near the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, July 12, 2011.
Syrian soldiers and police members secure the area near the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, July 12, 2011.

The U.N. Security Council has condemned Monday’s attacks by demonstrators on the U.S. and French embassies in Damascus, amid continued sharp exchanges between the United States and Syria. U.S. officials have credited Syria with tightening embassy security.

The U.N. Security Council, in a written statement, condemned the embassy attacks “in the strongest terms” and called on Syrian authorities to protect diplomatic property and personnel.

Crowds of pro-government Syrian demonstrators scaled the walls of the U.S. and French embassies Monday, breaking windows and security equipment, and spray-painting slogans.

U.S. and French officials said the attacks were officially inspired.  Syria maintains they were spontaneous actions by crowds upset by visits last week by the two countries’ ambassadors to Hama, a center of protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The attacks prompted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to say that Mr. Assad has “lost legitimacy” and is not indispensable.

Those comments were echoed Tuesday by White House Spokesman Jay Carney, who said the Syrian President had “passed up” an opportunity to lead a democratic transition in his country, and that his loss of legitimacy is a matter of “factual analysis.” “It doesn’t matter nearly as much that he’s lost legitimacy in our eyes. This is a matter of an analysis that he has lost legitimacy in the eyes of the Syrian people who are increasingly demanding change. There’s really a growing consensus among the Syrian people that this transition needs to take place, and that President Assad is not going to lead it," he said.

The Syrian state news agency said the Clinton remarks, reiterated by the White House, were further proof of what was termed “fragrant intervention” by the United States in Syrian affairs.

Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Ja’afari, accused the United States and France of hypocrisy - in condoning anti-government protests in Syria while labeling pro-government demonstrators thugs.

“The two ambassadors of these countries have preached, around the clock, their governments’ encouragement to the demonstrators to demonstrate peacefully in Syria as long as these peaceful demonstrations were addressed against the government. But when these demonstrators demonstrate in front of their embassies in Damascus, because of the interference of their two ambassadors in our internal affairs in the city of Hama, then these demonstrators become thugs and mobs," he said.

The Syrian envoy, speaking after the Security Council meeting on the embassy attacks, said authorities in Damascus had done all they could to protect the missions, and said that a number of demonstrators had been detained for questioning in the incidents.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. embassy was back in operation Tuesday with an increased Syrian security presence in the area.

“We have been able, working with the Syrians, to upgrade security, get some of the repairs made that needed to be made, particularly with regard to windows and cameras and those things. The Syrians returned the American flag that had been taken down yesterday. We in turn returned the Syrian flag that had on our gates," she said.

Nuland said U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford met with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad Tuesday and that the conversation had a “much more collaborative tone” than previous contacts.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid