U.S. Pressures Syria, Russia Won’t Support Arms Embargo
As violence escalates in Syria with reports documenting mass atrocities, international pressure has mounted on Syria to end its violent crackdown on demonstrators. The U.S. and E.U. called on the Syrian government to “end violence immediately” and to allow international observers into the country. The U.S. and Germany stated the U.N. must respond to the violence committed by the Syrian government “after a U.N. commission investigating allegations of human rights violations in Syria accused government troops of summary execution, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, torture, sexual violence, as well as violations of children’s rights.” State Department spokesperson Mark Toner responded to the report saying it was “sobering,” and stated “our strategy here remains the same, which is to put financial – increasing financial and economic pressure on his regime.” Amnesty International also expressed concern over the atrocities committed by the Syrian government, and urged states to act on the U.N. report.
However, Russia urged the international community to end “ultimatums” against Syria, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated “right now, the most important thing is to stop acting by means of ultimatums and try to move toward political dialogue.” Lavrov added that the negative NATO experience in Libya will make it unlikely that Russia would support an arms embargo against Syria, with Lavrov expressing doubts over the embargo by saying “I would say that they are fairly disingenuous.” Russia has resisted calls to draft a U.N. resolution condemning the crackdown in Syria, stating it is “unfair to expect the Syrian government not to respond to the unrest.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated that “if the oppression continues, Turkey is ready for any scenario [in Syria]. We hope that a military intervention will never be necessary.” He also noted that Turkey would consider a buffer zone on the border with Syria, noting “if hundreds of thousands of people flee to our border, this would of course create a different situation.”