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3 Aug, 2011 21:10

UN condemns violence in Syria

The UN Security Council condemned the Syrian government’s intensified crackdown against anti-government protesters and called for all parties to immediately end violence. All 15 members voted to adopt the statement on Wednesday.

The condemnation of the violence in Syria was long in coming because in order for a presidential statement to be adopted by the Security Council, all 15 member-states need to agree to its wording, explained RT correspondent Marina Portnaya.All council members voted to adopt the statement, including Syria’s close ally and neighbor Lebanon. However, Beirut dissociated itself from the text.“The Security Council condemns the widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities,” reads the presidential statement.It also stresses that the only solution to the current crisis in Syria is through “an inclusive and Syrian-led political process, with the aim of effectively addressing the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the population which will allow the full exercise of fundamental freedoms for its entire population, including that of expression and peaceful assembly.”There has been speculation in the media about whether the international community will try to intervene in the Syrian conflict. However, the statement stressed that “the Security Council reaffirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria.”UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon once again called on President Bashar Assad and the Syrian authorities to immediately cease all violence against civilians and to “fully respect human rights and implement reforms that they have already announced.”The ongoing intense military assault by government forces on the restive city of Hama triggered the adoption of the statement.Presidential statements are similar in format to UN resolutions, but are not legally binding.

If the unrest in Syria escalates into a civil war, it will have a huge effect on the whole Middle East, says investigative journalist Webster Tarpley.The international importance of Syria is very big. Should the Syrian government fall into a “colored revolution” or a civil war, Hezbollah in Lebanon would immediately be totally isolated and Iran would lose its only significant ally in the region, stated Tarpley.“This would have a tremendous transformational effect for the whole region in a bad way – it would make it more unstable,” he argued.According to Tarpley, the future of governance in the Middle East is now being decided in Syria as well as in Libya.