Syria´s opposition says UN statement allowing Bashar al-Assad to ´push ahead with repression´ (TELEGRAPH UK) By Richard Spencer, Middle East Correspondent 03/23/12)
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Syrian opposition activists said the United Nations was allowing the
Assad regime to "push ahead with repression" and more time to
continue killing its own people.
After subduing the centres of rebellious major cities like Homs and
Idlib in recent weeks, the regime has turned its attention to
outlying suburbs and nearby towns.
Residents and activists say there has been regular shelling in
Qusayr, near Homs, Sermin, near Idlib, and in suburbs of Hama.
At one point, shellfire directed at rebel areas in the west of the
country fell over the border into Lebanon.
The border areas have been used as a base for smuggling arms into
opposition areas but also contain large pockets of support for the
Assad regime from Lebanese Shia groups such as Hizbollah.
In the most brutal incident, a bus carrying refugees towards Turkey
came under gunfire which activists said was from regime troops. At
least 10 people, half of them women and children, were killed in the
attack, near Sermin, activists said.
The local coordinating committees, an umbrella group of local
opposition movements, said 59 people had been killed in Syria during
the day, despite the UN statement, backed by all members of the
security council including Russia, calling for a ceasefire and peace
"Such statements, issued amid continued killings, offer the regime
the opportunity to push ahead with its repression in order to crush
the revolt by the Syrian people," Samir Nashar, a member of the
executive committee of the Syrian National Council, said.
Syria itself gave no response to the UN demand, though the state news
agency hinted it was not being seen as a major obstacle. Its report
heavily quoted assurances by the Russian foreign minister, Sergei
Lavrov, that the statement contained "no warnings or signals".
Russia prevented the inclusion of any clause threatening penalties or
consequences if Syria did not comply with the demand for a ceasefire.
The statement itself does not have the binding legal force of a UN
The steady drift towards a long-drawn out guerrilla conflict was
further demonstrated by a claim by a military defector, who named
himself as Colonel Khaled Mohammed al-Hammud, that a new rebel
military council had been set up to coordinate attacks on Damascus.
Among the dead yesterday were also 12 regime soldiers killed in rebel
attacks. (© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2012. 03/23/12)
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