News / Middle East

UN Chief Sees 'Moral Obligation' to End Bloodshed in Syria

Demonstrators protesting against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad march through the streets after Friday's Prayers in Amude, September 30, 2011.
Demonstrators protesting against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad march through the streets after Friday's Prayers in Amude, September 30, 2011.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the international community has a "moral obligation" to prevent further bloodshed in Syria, a day after a European-drafted resolution aimed at curbing the violence failed at the U.N. Security Council.

A spokesman said Wednesday that Mr. Ban sees the violence as unacceptable and regrets that the Security Council has not come to an agreement on how to end it.

Russia and China vetoed a resolution draft written by France, Britain, Germany and Portugal Tuesday, sparking U.S. and European outrage.  The measure contained possible references to sanctions against Syria if its leader pursues a crackdown on opposition protesters.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a speech in South Africa Wednesday his government will impose its own sanctions on Syria, despite the resolution's failure at the U.N. Security Council.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the vote does not change U.S. commitment to increase pressure on the Syrian government.  She said countries will have to take responsibility for the decisions made Tuesday and any impact it may have on the ground in Syria.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said France and others tried everything possible to propose a strong resolution that reflected everyone’s concerns about what he called the "massacring" of the Syrian people. He said Tuesday was a "sad day" for the Syrian people and the U.N. Security Council.

However, a senior aide to the Syrian president told the French news agency that Tuesday was a "historic day."  Bouthaina Shaaban told AFP in Damascus that Russia and China stood "with the Syrian people" and provided the time needed for the government to "enforce and enhance reforms."

Syria has been using military force to crush almost seven months of opposition protests demanding an end to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's 11-year autocratic rule.

The United Nations says at least 2,700 people have been killed in the crackdown against protesters and other dissidents.

Turkey has provided refuge for several Syrian dissidents.  A Syrian colonel who found refuge there and heads the armed opposition force called the Free Syrian Army said a brutal crackdown last week in Rastan was an operation to capture him.  

Colonel Riad al-Asaad says he defected in July after refusing to follow Syrian government orders to shoot protesters. He says his opposition group now has more than 10,000 defectors.


Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid