U.S. Concerned Over Impending Aleppo Massacre (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 07/27/12)
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The United States said on Thursday it appeared that forces loyal to
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were "lining up" for a massacre in
the city of Aleppo, but again ruled out military intervention in the
Reuters quoted the U.S. State Department as having said that credible
reports of tank columns moving on Aleppo along with air strikes by
helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft represented a serious escalation
of the government´s efforts to crush an armed rebellion.
“This is the concern: that we will see a massacre in Aleppo and
that´s what the regime appears to be lining up for,” State Department
spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
“Our hearts are with the people of Aleppo, and again this is another
desperate attempt by a regime that is going down to maintain control,
and we are greatly concerned about what they are capable of in
Aleppo,” she added.
Nuland said, however, that despite U.S. concern over the violence,
the Obama administration did not contemplate ending its self-imposed
ban on direct military help.
“We do not believe that pouring more fuel on the fire is going to
save lives,” she said, according to Reuters. “The route out of this
is not more violence ... the route out of this is an end to the
violence and a beginning to a true political transition process.”
She dismissed comparisons between Aleppo and the Libyan city of
Benghazi, the cradle of the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi, where
warnings of a threatened massacre by Libyan government forces in
March 2011 prompted the UN Security Council to authorize military
action to protect civilians.
“There are a vast number of differences,” Nuland said, citing lack of
a UN mandate, more difficult terrain and the absence of a direct call
for help by a unified opposition.
“The vast majority of the Syrians want the violence to end. They
don´t want increased violence,” she added. “The kind of groundswell
call for external support that we´ve seen elsewhere is not there.”
Aleppo has become the main battleground in Syria´s 16-month popular
uprising as government forces on Thursday intensified their firepower
in response to rebel gains in Syria´s largest city.
Aleppo, Syria´s principal economic center of 2.5 million, is of
strategic importance to the rebels due to its position near the
Turkish border, where weapons can be acquired and foreign fighters
are said to be joining the opposition.
Fighting is said to be concentrated in three neighborhoods. Forces
loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad have allegedly used
warplanes and artillery to bomb rebels armed with rifles.
Meanwhile on Thursday, Russia charged that calls for Assad to step
down are blocking efforts to end 16 months of unrest in the country.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned such calls -- made by
the United States, several European and Arab governments and Turkey --
were fanning the flames of violence.
He also reiterated Moscow´s claim that support for Syrian rebel
groups was tantamount to backing terrorism.
Israel has reportedly reinforced its Syrian frontier as the fighting
intensifies. Israeli troops have reportedly been put on “very high”
alert. (IsraelNationalNews © 2011 07/27/12)
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