Archive for 01/27/2012

New UN Draft Resolution Gives Syria 15 Days to Comply or Face ‘Additional Measures’ as Uprising Inches Closer to Damascus

01/27/2012 Leave a comment

While Assad’s regime slowly crumbles, news percolates up through the chaos that the “liberated” city of Zabadani has now become Syria’s “Benghazi”.  Yes, that Benghazi

By Josh Rogin – “The Cable has obtained a copy of the draft resolution on Syria currently being discussed inside the U.N. Security Council. It calls on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy and says additional measures would be taken if he doesn’t comply within 15 days.

U.N. Security Council diplomats are meeting behind closed doors on Friday to discuss what’s being called the Arab-European draft resolution on Syria. The Moroccan ambassador is presenting the draft resolution, which is designed to implement the recommendations of the Arab League transition plan laid out on Jan. 22.

The draft resolution condemns ‘the continued widespread and gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities,’ demands that the Syrian government immediately put an end to all human rights violations, and calls on both sides to end attacks and violence immediately.

The resolution then lays out a political roadmap that matches the Arab League initiative intended to pave the way for a transition ‘leading to a democratic, plural political system’ through the formation of a national unity government, the handing over of all presidential authority to Assad’s deputy for a transition period, and then the holding of free and fair elections with international supervision.

Importantly, the draft resolution requests that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon report on the implementation of the resolution every 15 days and also directs the Security Council ‘to review Syria’s implementation of this resolution [in] 15 days and, in the event that Syria has not complied, to adopt further measures, in consultation with the League of Arab States.'” Read more.

Syrian revolt creeps closer to Damascus – “The suspicion of the young Syrian soldier manning a checkpoint north-east of central Damascus was no surprise. But his words came as a shock. ‘Free army!’he declared, at this road junction in the Damascus suburb of Irbin, just half an hour’s drive from the seat of power of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. ‘We are independent. We are with the people,’ he continued, as a half-dozen of his comrades quickly gathered, one with a rocket propelled grenade launcher over his shoulder. This unexpected meeting with the militarised opposition who style themselves the Free Syrian Army was just the first of a series of striking insights offered by the capital’s restive suburbs into the country’s social faultlines and its dangerous state of flux. Days after the Assad regime vowed to press on with a ‘security solution’ to the 10-month uprising, the conflict’s lethal intensity is easily found in the down at heel communities that ring Damascus.” Read more.

The view from Damascus: Assad regime is ‘weak’ – “While the Syrian regime pummels away at long-restive cities such as Deraa and Hama, the new focal point for the revolution is none other than Damascus itself. Rebels, composed now of both army defectors and armed civilians, claim to be operating openly in Harasta, Hamowriya, Su’ban, Madaya and Ghouta, kidnapping regime personnel and taking the fight directly to Assad’s most elite (and loyal) army divisions and intelligence bureaus. There’s now even an all-women Free Syrian Army (FSA) brigade. Rebel gains have been impressive enough to percolate into the international news cycle. The ‘liberated’ city of Zabadani, some 20 miles from Damascus, is already being spoken of as Syria’s ‘Benghazi’.” Read more.

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