Secretary Clinton Heading To U.N. For Session Condemning Syrian Regime
As reports come in about an escalation in fighting around Damascus and the deploying of army troops in the city's suburbs, the State Department just announced that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will go to the United Nations on Tuesday to join other nations in condemning the Assad regime's use of violence.
State just released this statement from the secretary. In it, she declares that the international community should tell the Syrian people "we stand with you":
"The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the escalation of the Syrian regime's violent and brutal attacks on its own people. In the past few days we have seen intensified Syrian security operations all around the country which have killed hundreds of civilians. The government has shelled civilian areas with mortars and tank fire and brought down whole buildings on top of their occupants. The violence has escalated to the point that the Arab League has had to suspend its monitoring mission. The regime has failed to meet its commitments to the Arab League to halt its acts of violence, withdraw its military forces from residential areas, allow journalists and monitors to operate freely and release prisoners arrested because of the current unrest.
"The Security Council must act and make clear to the Syrian regime that the world community views its actions as a threat to peace and security. The violence must end, so that a new period of democratic transition can begin.
"Tomorrow, I will attend a United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria where the international community should send a clear message of support to the Syrian people: we stand with you. The Arab League is backing a resolution that calls on the international community to support its ongoing efforts, because the status quo is unsustainable. The longer the Assad regime continues its attacks on the Syrian people and stands in the way of a peaceful transition, the greater the concern that instability will escalate and spill over throughout the region."
According to The Associated Press, "Assad's regime is intensifying an assault against army defectors and protesters. The U.N. says more than 5,400 people have been killed in a crackdown since March. More than 190 were killed in the past five days."
Update at 2:55 p.m. ET. Russia Will Block A Vote:
As the BBC writes, "Russia has said it will block a draft U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a transfer of power in Syria because it 'leaves open the possibility of intervention' in Syria's affairs."