Russia’s UN Veto “Inexcusable” to Syrian People

ďIt pains me to say, but we are not on the track for peace in Syria and the escalations we have witnessed in Damascus over the past few days is a testimony to that.” So said Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, the Norwegian head of the United Nations monitoring mission in Syria on Thursday in Damascus, the day before the observers’ mandate is to expire.

Hopes of any sort of diplomatic resolution to the increasingly bloody conflict have all but disappeared, as Russia, Syria’s ally since the Cold War, and China have†vetoed a UN Security Council resolution proposing further sanctions on Syria for failing to implement the six-point peace plan sponsored by special envoy Kofi Annan.

The UN, said the US, the UK and France, has failed the people of Syria. The UK said that Russia’s veto was “inexcusable and indefensible”; the US called it “highly regrettable.”

Thursday was the fifth day of fierce fighting in neighborhoods surrounding Damascus. Government tanks have stormed the Qaboun neighborhood, says†Al Jazeera, the first time that tanks have entered a district in Syria’s capital.

Rebels forces are claiming that they have captured†Bab al-Hawa in Idlib province, the main border crossing between Syria and Turkey.

An explosion on Wednesday not far from the presidential palace was a sign of President Bashar al-Assad’s weakening grip on the country. The blast took the lives of three top security officials, Asef Shawkat, former deputy chief of staff of the military and the husband of Assad’s older sister; Defense Minister Dawoud A. Rajha, the most prominent Christian in the Syrian government; and Maj. Gen. Hassan Turkmani, a previous defense minister who was the top military aide to Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa. A number of other senior officials were wounded, some critically, including interior minister Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar and National Security Bureau chief Hisham Ikhtiar. Commented the New York Times:

With the opposition energized and the government demoralized, analysts wondered if other military units and trusted lieutenants would be more inclined to switch sides ó and if the government would retaliate with an escalation of violence.

The idea that a poorly organized, lightly armed opposition force could somehow get so close to the seat of power raised questions about the viability of a once unassailable police state. The Assad family has for decades relied on overlapping security forces and secret police to preserve its lock on power. At best, for Mr. Assad, the system failed. At worst, for Mr. Assad, defectors or turncoats helped carry out an inside operation.

Assad made his first public appearance on Thursday, in television footage of him swearing in Gen Fahd Jassim al-Furayj, chief of staff of the armed forces, as the new defense minister in what appeared to be a reception room of the presidential palace. Assad’s exact whereabouts remain uncertain.

According to an opposition figure cited in the New York Times, Assad’s wife, Asma al-Assad, their three children, his mother, Anisa al-Assad (the widow of former president Hafez al-Assad) and a number of women and children left Damascus on Wednesday afternoon via a plane from Mezze military airfield. The family may be going to a family mausoleum in Qardaha, above the port city of Latakia, for a funeral for Shawkat.

SANA, the Syrian state news agency, stated that the country’s troops would defeat “the criminal and murder gangs and chas[e] them out of their rotten hide-outs wherever they are until clearing the homeland of their evils.” SANA also warned that rebels may be disguised in the uniforms of the Republican Guards, the elite armed units that guard the president and his inner circle, and that Qatar has been making models of Syria cities to create fake videos.

Some 20,000 Syrians have fled into Lebanon over the past 24 hours; about 5,000 Syrians usually cross the border daily for commerce and other reasons. The Lebanese government has said that it is opening schools for the refugees and receiving aid from other Arab countries.



Previous Care2 Coverage

Blast Kills Assadís Brother-in-Law, Defense Minister

Red Cross Finally Admits Syria is in Civil War

Bloodiest Massacre Yet in Syria, Say Opposition Activists

Photo by FreedomHouse2


Michelle Barager
Michelle Barager3 years ago

The US sold both Saddam and Iran chemical weapons to use against each other, and against us troops, which then , for some reason, enriched the US's pharmaceutical cash flow by testing unknown drugs on those us troops. That was planned and purposeful by Bush Sr.
Syrian opposition should be armed further, old broken equipment and kalishnakovs aren't cutting it while the Nazi regime sits atop anti aircraft and tank warefare and chemical weapons.... Remember all that screaming about Iranian nuclear weapons? They are in Syria and bashar will use them against the people of Syria.
This whole conflict is only at this point because everyone stood by Nd watched Syrians get slaughtered as we are doing right now. Anyone who supports Assad is on his payroll, or a war monger or skinhead.

sheila h.
sheila haigh3 years ago

@michail a.

I was not referring to the Red Cross, or any other official organisation’s, convoys to Syria. I was referring to convoys organised by groups of private individuals and small charities who raise money and collect essential items (food/medical supplies/bedding etc.) and take them themselves, at great personal risk without any protection, through to the Syrian people.

As for those people who can witness what is being done by the mafia regime to its own people and still support Assad (whatever their motive might be), at least we can agree on that.

michail azarniyouch

Sheila h.: you missed the point, i know the aid convoys (red cross) i was referring to the so called leftist ''flottila'' or ''flytilla who come out protesting against Israel a free and democratic nation even if someone gets scratched in Israel, havent you seen the last flottila's violence i was referring to that ! But when it comes to the Syrian people's struggle for freedom not only do these leftist rubbish come out, they write hateful articles in ''defense'' of the assad killer machine. thank you

sheila h.
sheila haigh3 years ago

@michail a.

Aid convoys are going to Syria and if you'd like to donate, I'm sure it will be appreciated. I wish they were better known about, but if you look, you'll find them.

michail azarniyouch

sheila H , the palestinian people could have had their states right from the beginning, and the whole quarrel between ant the west or Israel, was nothing but propaganda and empty talk to waste peoples times and life , lets not bring this in here. I am still waiting for a flotilla or flytilla for the syrian people the least to say. Where are those treacherous and vindictive leftist rubbish, that were so ready and organized flotilla and flytilla against Isreal, they are bunch of liers and cowards.

sheila h.
sheila haigh3 years ago

@James M. Thank you, your comment bears repeating;

'United States UN Veto "Inexcusable" To Palestinian People'

Haven't seen THAT headline anywhere, hmmm?

Read more:

sheila h.
sheila haigh3 years ago

@Will R. “Americans………….. stand up for the rights of the oppressed all over the world, and would never sell tasers or cattle prods to evil regimes, they don't sell guns indiscriminately to other countries so they can murder each other and their neighbours easier.”

Oh, really? Remember Saddam Hussein? Which US president was it who said of him “We know he’s a bastard, but he’s ‘our’ bastard”? The US supplied Saddam Hussein with chemical (and other) weapons over decades, before, during and after his (US proxy?) war with Iran. In 1988 he used those chemical weapons against his own people in Hallabja, gassing 5000 to a most painful death. Yet for the US this was not an issue of concern and they continued to supply him. For the US, this only became an issue in 2002 when Bush II was looking for excuses to make his was on Iraq, when suddenly it was trotted out as an example of what an evil man Saddam was, and conveniently forgetting that his father Bush I had been Vice President in 1988 and had made no complaints at the time and continued friendly relations with and supplies to Saddam until Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990.

There are no doubt lots of other examples.

michail azarniyouch

Don't mix up Iraq nevertheless Iraqis are moving on , they are toughening it out, and at least they got rid of a crazy and dangerous dictator and the Russians lost a market for their arms.

Alan G.
Alan G.3 years ago

Yeah, because that plan worked out so well with Iraq.

michail azarniyouch

The Russian Govt is the main trouble maker in the world, they are the ones who are arming the syrian authoritarian dictatorship with heavy weapons and ammo, if it werent for the russians, the syrian and iranian regime would have fallen long time ago, America must assume leadership and unied all countries in the Middle East against the most pariah states amongs this region and their cohorts of course. (iran,syria) 2 dangerious pariah regimes with Russia their prime supporter.