Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Syria: US, France, 13 Other Nations Hint at Use of Force Against Assad if Violence Continues

Syria: US, France, 13 Other Nations Hint at Use of Force Against Assad if Violence Continues

By Edward Cody, The Washington Post – “PARIS — The United States, France and 13 other nations demanded Thursday that Syria immediately cease military operations against rebel forces and allow unfettered deployment of U.N. observers, suggesting that use of force will be considered if Damascus fails to comply.

The stand, at a French-organized meeting of foreign ministers and other officials from the ‘Friends of Syria’ group, signaled a growing impatience among Western leaders and Arab allies over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s delay in putting into practice a six-point peace plan, including a truce, that was negotiated by joint U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan but has yet to halt the killing.

Despite its implied threat of seeking U.N. authorization for stronger measures, however, the declaration also underlined the difficulty of applying pressure on Syria as long as Russia and China refuse to go along. Both nations wield veto power in the U.N. Security Council, and although they endorsed Annan’s peace plan, they have rejected calls for more forceful action against the Syrian government.

Significantly, Russia and China declined invitations to attend the meeting Thursday.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, who spoke for the group, said a U.N. observer mission in Syria is ‘at a critical moment’ because of ‘the refusal of Syria to carry out its commitments.’ France will soon submit to the Security Council a resolution outlining what Juppe called a ‘robust’ mission that he hoped Russia and China could be persuaded to approve.” Read more.

Russia: ‘Syria faces a catastrophic civil war if both sides fail to take advantage of ceasefire’ – “Syria faces a catastrophic civil war if both sides in the crisis that has gripped the country for over a year fail to take advantage of the current fragile ceasefire there, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday. ‘A very important event in the developments in the country has come about,’ the ministry said in a statement on its website. ‘The issue in Syria now is the choice between a transition towards peaceful, nationwide talks or a descent into civil war.’ … UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday that he had seen ‘troubling’ evidence of ceasefire violations by both government troops and rebel forces.” Read more.

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