Security Council Approves Up to 300 Monitors to Syria
The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a Russia-European drafted resolution on Saturday that authorizes an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers to Syria for three months. The next day, however, violence ensued in a town outside of Damascus where opposition members reported two activists dead due to indiscriminate shelling. Syrian state-run media reported that the Syrian government was fully cooperating, citing Syria’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari saying, ”the Syrian government was open to any honest and neutral initiatives and efforts since the beginning of the crisis to help emerge from it while preserving Syria’s sovereignty, independent national decision, security and stability, with Syria showing great cooperation and commitment to Annan’s efforts.” However, the realities on the ground have not been lost, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned others at the recent ‘Friends of Syria’ meeting, ”even as we plan for the best, we also have to be prepared if we are not successful to increase the pressure.” Clinton said that would involve a new U.N. Security Council resolution under Chapter Seven of the U.N. Charter, which authorizes foreign powers to take measures including military action if peace is threatened.
The Washington Post Editorial Board argues that Bashar al Assad “will fall only when his attacks are blocked and countered; it follows that U.S. policy should aim at that.” It added that the “only good news” since the enactment of the ceasefire is that international officials are beginning to consider other options. Michael Rubin insists the Barack Obama administration must clearly outline its expectations about the Syrian crisis, saying, “Because you can’t keep giving last chances and maintaining credibility. If you keep delaying, all you’re doing is allowing Assad to kill.”