Lieberman: Turn the Tide Against Bashar al-Assad
On Thursday, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), writing an op-ed in the Washington Post, called for U.S. action to prevent further human rights abuses in Syria. Nine months after President Barack Obama called for the ousting of President Bashar al-Assad, Lieberman suggests the U.S. has been absent from facilitating Assad’s removal. Lieberman Noted the strategic importance of Assad’s fall as a measure to further isolate Iran, and intervening as a way to block any possible foothold, stressing, ”stopping Syria’s slide into civil war and anarchy is not just a mission of mercy but also an imperative for U.S. national security.” Lieberman called for a “comprehensive and coordinated effort” involving a coalition to support the opposition with weapons, tactical intelligence and other lethal aid. “The way to avoid this outcome is for the military balance inside Syria to change, quickly — and once again that depends most of all on U.S. leadership,” stated Lieberman.
In related news, Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. secretary-general, blamed al-Qaeda for last week’s bombings in Damascus. “A few days ago there was a huge, serious, massive terrorist attack. I believe that there must be al-Qaeda behind it,” said Ban. Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council reported North Korea is suspected of shipping illicit arms to Syria. The ship in question’s cargo “contained brass discs and copper rods used to manufacture artillery munitions and aluminum alloy tubes usable for making rockets,” the panel said.
Elsewhere in Syria, following the raid at Aleppo University – which left 28 wounded and 200 detained – massive demonstrations are being staged, with live updates posted by the Guardian. “Thousands of people demonstrated in various districts (of Aleppo) despite the repression,” said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. In response, Syrian forces have opened fire on protesters. “I am more convinced than ever that no amount of violence can solve this crisis,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, leader of the U.N. observer team.