Clinton Warns Against ´Sectarian War´ in Syria (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 08/08/12)
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Syria must not be allowed to descend into a sectarian war, U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday, warning
against “proxies or terrorist fighters” being sent in to join the
“We have to set very clear expectations about avoiding sectarian
warfare,” Reuters quoted Clinton as having said while answering a
question on Syria during a news conference in the South African
capital Pretoria, her latest stop in a tour of Africa.
“Those who are attempting to exploit the situation by sending in
proxies or terrorist fighters must realize that will not be
tolerated, first and foremost by the Syrian people,” she added.
Clinton did not elaborate on her reference to “proxies or terrorist
fighters” or name any particular country or group. The escalating war
in Syria has increasingly divided the region along its sectarian
faultline, pitting the mainly Sunni rebels, who are backed by
regional Sunni-led powers Turkey and the Gulf Arab states, against
Assad´s government that is backed by Shi´ite Iran.
Clinton said the United States had taken note of the defection on
Monday of Assad´s Prime Minister Riyad Hijab and said, “That´s the
latest in a line of such defections and the opposition is becoming
increasingly coordinated and effective. It now reportedly holds
territory from northern Aleppo to the Turkish border.”
She added that the opposition gains, combined with the fracturing of
some of Assad´s support, made it imperative for the world to step up
work on planning for a post-Assad Syria.
“We can begin talking about and planning for what happens next, the
day after the regime does fall. I´m not going to put a timeline on
it, I can´t possibly predict it, but I know it´s going to happen,”
“We must figure out ways to hasten the day when the bloodshed ends
and the political transition begins ... We have to make very sure
that state institutions stay intact,” she added.
Clinton said she intended to discuss the challenges facing Syria when
she flies to Turkey for talks on Saturday.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Assad won a pledge of support from regional
ally Iran, when he received a visit from the country’s head of
Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili.
Assad was shown on television meeting Jalili, the first footage
broadcast of him in two weeks. Jalilli said Iran would not let its
close partnership with the Syrian leadership to be shaken by the
uprising or external foes.
“Iran will not allow the axis of resistance, of which it considers
Syria to be an essential part, to be broken in any way,” Syrian
television quoted Jalili as saying. (IsraelNationalNews © 2011
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