U.S.: Window of opportunity for peaceful Syria solution won´t stay open for long (HAīARETZ NEWS) By Natasha Mozgovaya 06/01/12)
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The window of opportunity for a peaceful solution to the ongoing
crisis in Syria is closing, a top U.S. official said on Thursday,
adding that the international community had to unite against the
regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Earlier Thursday, in another reference to escalating violence in
Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejected the
possibility of a military intervention in the country, saying
"A lot of people are trying to figure out what could be an effective
intervention that wouldn´t cause more death and suffering," Clinton
said, arguing Syria´s population density increased the odds of
civilian casualties in any armed action.
However, speaking on the subject later in the day, White House
spokesman Jay Carney said that U.S. President Barack Obama "and
others have made clear that the window of opportunity here to allow
for a peaceful political transition in Syria is -- will not remain
open for long."
"There is an urgent need for the United -- the international
community to come together and further unify against the Assad regime
in an effort to persuade the Assad regime and pressure and isolate
the Assad regime to the point where that transition is allowed to
fully take place," Carney added.
Carney added that if that solution is not reached "the consequences
are very serious."
"And that´s what Ambassador Rice was talking about, and Secretary
Clinton and I, because the consequences of not taking that firm
action are more violence -- violence that spills over Syria´s
borders; violence that results in even greater participation in this
by Iran, for example, and others, to the point where it becomes a
proxy war of sorts," he added, saying: "And this is bad for the
region and bad for the Syrian people and bad for the world."
Also referring to the possibility of a peaceful resolution of the
Syrian crisis, U.S. State Department Deputy spokesman Mark Toner said
on Thursday that "Assad, his regime is the greatest stumbling block
"They´ve failed to comply with any of the six components of the Annan
plan. They´ve continued to besiege population centers, including the
horrible events that happened in Houla over the weekend. You know,
let´s put responsibility for this bloodletting squarely upon Assad,"
Also on Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice responded to
reports on a Russian arms ship that had docked at the Tartous harbor
"With respect to the reported docking of a ship carrying Russian
arms, this is obviously of the utmost concern given that the Syrian
government continues to use deadly force against civilians, she
added, saying: "It is not technically, obviously, a violation of
international law since thereís not an arms embargo, but itís
reprehensible that arms would continue to flow to a regime that is
using such horrific and disproportionate force against its own
Friday´s massacre of more than 100 civilians in Houla, many of them
children, has triggered calls for the West to take more robust action
in Syria, despite Russian and Chinese opposition.
Clinton said earlier Thursday that she had not given up on the
possibility of persuading Russia to support stronger action against
the Assad government, saying she had made the case that the chances
of a full-blown civil war were higher if the world failed to act.
"The dangers we face are terrible," she said, saying the violence
between government forces and pro-Assad militias against the
opposition forces would turn into something much worse.
"[That] could morph into a civil war in a country that would be
driven by sectarian divides, which could then morph into a proxy war
in the region because remember you have Iran deeply embedded in
Syria," she said. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 06/01/12)
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