LONDON / PARIS – Britain and France are pushing for a UN security council resolution condemning a crackdown on anti-government protesters in Syria, according to The Guardian. David Cameron told the House of Commons that the two nations will be offering “a resolution at the Security Council condemning the repression and demanding accountability and humanitarian action.” “If anyone votes against that resolution or tries to veto it, that should be on their conscience,” he said.
The foreign secretary, William Hague, told parliament on Tuesday that the security council had a “responsibility to speak out” and warned of new EU sanctions unless demands were met. Hague said diplomats were circulating a draft resolution to secure the necessary support from the nine council members.
The French foreign minister, Alain Juppe, said it was “inconceivable” that the UN would remain silent while the situation in Syria worsened, and it was “a question of days, maybe hours” before the council voted on the draft resolution. Diplomatic pressure on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has increased amid concerns that the Syrian security forces are preparing an all-out assault on a town where more than 120 troops were reportedly killed over the weekend. The draft resolution falls short of the no-fly zone mandated against Libya that launched a NATO bombing campaign against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Syrians are crossing the northern border into Turkey in an attempt to escape growing violence in their own country. Many say they are fleeing the town of Jisr al-Shughour ahead of an expected military assault after dozens of soldiers were reportedly killed there, BBC News said. Residents who stayed in the town have set up road-blocks in an attempt to stop security forces from entering.
Syrian ambassador to France dismisses resignation claims
The Syrian ambassador to France has denied resigning from her post claiming she was the victim of a hoax aimed at embarrassing her country, The Guardian said. Lamia Shakkour reacted angrily to reports she was stepping down in protest at attacks on civilians by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, saying the announcement was “misinformation” and “identity theft”. Confusion spread when a woman identifying herself as the Syrian ambassador to Paris announced her resignation by telephone on the French television news channel France 24 on Tuesday evening. The woman cited her opposition to the government crackdown against demonstrations in Syria.