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US and UK May Offer Syria’s Assad “Safe Passage”

US and UK May Offer Syria’s Assad “Safe Passage”

Russia’s foreign ministry has admitted that a Russian cargo ship, the MV Alaed, that was stopped off the north coast of Scotland and sent back to Russia was indeed carrying fighter helicopters destined for Syria. The BBC reports that the ship contains Mi-25 helicopters on board which are described as “the property of the Syrian government.” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had accused Russia of supplying Syria with military helicopters; the US has since acknowledged that the helicopters have been refurbished.

The US and UK have said they are willing to offer safe passage to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as part of a diplomatic effort to address the crisis in Syria. The new initiative was announced after both President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron held bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Mexico. Syria and Russia have been allies since the Cold War and Russia’s support has been considered essential to initiate a diplomatic solution to the uprising in Syria.

The US and UK are considering offering Assad “safe passage” to a conference in Geneva to discuss a transition plan that would possibly be similar to that under which former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh left power. The UK has also expressed willingness to offer Assad clemency though Black points out that this “not quite” the right term:

… unlike Muammar Gaddafi last year, the Syrian president has never been referred to the International Criminal Court – as many believe he should be after 15,000 deaths in the last 15 months. Perhaps “immunity from prosecution” sounds too bald – even for an international community that knows it cannot possibly repeat the one-off Nato-led Libyan intervention and has no other good options available.

The daily reports of terrible violence and an ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria have pushed the US and UK to attempt what the Guardian’s Ian Black describes as a “long shot that depends almost totally on Russian support and smacks of desperation.” But all other efforts, including Kofi Annan’s six-point peace proposal and the presence of almost 300 United Nations monitors, have so far been fruitless.

Shelling continues in the battered central city of Homs, where Red Cross teams are readying to evacuate civilians — the injured, the elderly, a number of Christians – after the Syrian government agreed on Wednesday to a two-hour cease-fire. Rebels hold some neighborhoods in Homs, where fighting has been going on for the past ten days.

Just this morning, a Syrian fighter pilot landed at a military air base in northern Jordan and defected, the BBC reports. Ahmad Kassem, a spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), said it had encouraged the pilot, a colonel, to defect. The Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the military had lost contact with Colonel Hassan Mirei al-Hamadeh while he was in the southern part of the country.

Previous Care2 Coverage

Obama Unable To Persuade Putin About Syria

UN Mission Leader: Evacuate Civilians From Homs

UN Observers Suspend Syria Mission, To No One’s Surprise

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13 comments

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9:42AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

Taken from the "one-sided" report above:

"Just this morning, a Syrian fighter pilot landed at a military air base in northern Jordan and defected, the BBC reports.....

Not yet reported by Main Stream Media or Care2 is that a Turkish Fighter Jet was shot down whilst flying over sovereign Syrian airspace.

This is an attempt by a NATO member country, Turkey, to justify an act of aggression and by doing so allow NATO to declare military action in defense of another NATO country.

Well Turkey, what the hell was one of your fighter jets doing in Syrian airspace? Strange that the Turkish PM at the time failed to acknowledge the fact, even trying to deny that an "incident" had taken place, that one of its fighter planes had committed an aggressive act and by doing so, they had lost one of their planes.

No doubt there will be many more such attempts of provocation, either by a NATO member state bordering Syria (Turkey) or an Arab State (the Saudis or Qatari’s) to provoke and therefore justify military action against the Syrians.

6:48AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

Pat M.

I think you've summed it up very well. There are very few contributors here at Care2 who have the slightest idea what is really happening in Syria. Most are fed the Main Stream Media lies and crap, of which Care2 is in real danger of becoming, on world issues such as Syria.

10:44PM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

awwwwwwwww hell naw

6:33PM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

Would that be safe passage to hell for Bashar al-Assad?

12:51PM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

Why the hell is the US getting involved in giving this monster safe passage anywhere?

12:19PM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

Awful news!! He should be put in front a firing squad!

12:16PM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

I see by the comments that once again, Western propaganda works, no matter how many times it's proven afterwards to have been lies to garner public support for regime change and take-over by Western interests who put puppets, sometimes even ones linked to AlQaeda, in power. No nation has the right to overthrow or decide the ruling fate of another nation, not even the arrogant US/UK/France.
I hope Russia and China hold firm in their veto of any regime change in Syria. It's up to the real citizens of any nation to decide their fate, not some fanatic mercenaries supplied or funded by Saudi Arabia Sunnis/Wahhabists. How would the US citizens have liked it if England had decided the fate of Abraham Lincoln, and regime-changed him with bombing campaigns and mercenaries?

10:17AM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

If you're evil enough, you get a pardon?

9:17AM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

And the shoot him?!

4:05AM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

Louise D. - like it ;)

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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