Sunday 24 September 2017

Syrian rebels say UN is complicit in slaughter

Adrian Blomfield in Damascus

SYRIA'S opposition has accused the international community of complicity in crimes against humanity after the UN Security Council failed to agree a resolution condemning the regime's violent repression of protests.

The denunciation came amid allegations of army atrocities in Hama, where food and medicine are said to be low.

Western politicians hailed a show of unity by the international community after the Security Council issued a statement on Wednesday, deploring President Bashar al-Assad's use of force against civilians.

Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, called the statement "a turning point in the attitude of the international community".

However, unlike a resolution, a Security Council statement is non-binding, so it cannot be used as a platform to impose sanctions on the Damascus regime.

The failure to secure a resolution, largely because of opposition from China and Russia, infuriated Syrian activists behind the uprising.

One leading activist in Damascus said: "History will judge this as a moment of shame for the UN. The international community is effectively encouraging Assad to continue massacring unarmed civilians."

Between 1,700 and 2,100 civilians have been killed by the security forces since the uprising began in March.

Syria's opposition said it had hoped that a UN resolution would lead to oil sanctions and a referral of Mr Assad to the International Criminal Court.

Massacre

"You cannot imagine the frustration and anger from the opposition towards the silence of the world," said Ausama Monajed, a leading Syrian dissident.

"We are watching another Rwanda take place, another Darfur, another Kosovo and the international community is doing nothing." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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