Diplomats Line Up to Condemn Syria Violence (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/10/12)
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UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan condemned Thursday´s twin bombing in
the Syrian capital of Damascus that left at least 55 people dead and
A statement issued by Annan spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said he "condemns
in the strongest possible terms the attacks that took place earlier
today in Damascus.
"He is saddened by the loss of life resulting from the two blasts and
extends his condolences to the families of the victims. These
abhorrent acts are unacceptable and the violence in Syria must stop."
The statement added Annan, the international mediator appointed by
the United Nations and Arab League to try to resolve Syria´s
unrest, "reiterates his call to all parties to adhere to the
cessation of violence.
"Any action that serves to escalate tensions and raise the level of
violence can only be counter-productive to the interests of all
"The Joint Special Envoy calls on all parties to avoid further
bloodshed and to protect civilians. The Syrian people have already
suffered too much," it concluded.
The European Union condemned Thursday what it described as "an act of
pure terrorism" in Damascus, but stressed that the Syrian peace plan
drafted by international envoy Kofi Annan remains "the best way
"The twin bomb attacks ... seem to have targeted a maximum amount of
casualties and damage," said Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign
policy chief Catherine Ashton.
The US embassy in Beirut – speaking on Syrian affairs since the state
department closed its embassy in Damascus earlier this year – also
condemned the bombings.
"The United States condemns in the strongest terms the attacks that
took place today in Damascus," the U.S. embassy said in statements
posted on Twitter.
"The indiscriminate targeting and killing of civilians is
reprehensible and unacceptable in any context," it said.
The bombings also prompted the commander of the slowly growing UN
observer force in Syria, Norwegian Major General Robert Mood, to
appeal for aid in ending the bloodshed in Syria.
On Wednesday a roadside bomb targeting Mood´s convoy near Daraa
wounded 10 members of his under-strength observer force. Mood,
himself, escaped unscathed.
At present, there are 50 out of a slated 300 observers in Syria,
leaving the force woefully under strength in a nation of 22.5 million
spread over 71,479 square miles of disparate terrain.
Mood´s force is supposed to ensure a UN-backed peace-plan brokered by
Annan is adhered to by Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-
Assad and rebels from the Free Syria Army fighting against his
However, the April 12 ceasefire deadline has been widely disregarded
by Assad, whose forces continue to stage deadly punitive raids in
dissident and rebel strongholds.
There have also been continuing reports of war crimes in Syria by
Assad´s forces, including the systemic kidnapping, rape, and torture
of dissidents and their families, and mass summary executions.
UN Human Rights officials say at least 9,000 have been killed in the
14-month popular uprising against Assad, most of them civilians
targeted by government forces.
However, UN officials officially stopped counting months ago citing
difficulty in obtaining accurate reports due to the choas rocking the
Independent human rights groups place the current death toll at close
to 12,000, most of them civillians, with at least 800 having been
killed since the April 12 ceasefire date passed.
Western powers and the Arab League have censured Assad and imposed
numerous rounds of sanctions, but the international community has
been deadlocked on similar measures at the United Nations.
Russia and China, staunch allies of Assad, have consistently blocked
sanctions or military intervention in the United Nations Security
The Obama administration, which has repeatedly issued calls for Assad
to step down, has openly said he will remain in power without armed
intervention to oust him.
Nonetheless, Washington has ruled out armed intervention by a
coalition of concerned states - or arming the rebels - and maintains
a strict "sanctions only" policy. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012
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