Hillary Clinton is considering a U.N. mandate that calls for military intervention in Syria. “Every day that goes by makes the argument for [military involvement] stronger,” says the American secretary of state. She blames Russia for contributing to a civil war, while Russia lays the blame on other countries.
Russia is increasingly coming under pressure about a further course of action in the Syrian crisis. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sees Moscow's leadership as responsible for a possible civil war in the country. During her visit to Denmark, she told news agency Ritzau, “The Russians keep telling us they want to do everything they can to avoid a civil war. I am telling them that their position is going to help contribute to a civil war.”
Clinton is referring Russia and China’s resistance in the U.N. Security Council to an intervention by the United Nations to end the bloodshed in Syria. “Every day that goes by makes the argument stronger” for military intervention, as Clinton says. In the face of discord among the major powers, she considers an intervention of the international community “difficult,” unlike before in Libya.
She warned that the insurgence could lead to open civil and proxy war that would involve Iran and other regional powers like Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The dilemma is how to intervene without the cost of more human lives and more suffering. “The killing of innocent Syrians must stop,” Clinton demanded.
The U.S. Ambassador of the United Nations Susan Rice said that the most probable outcome at the moment would be that the government in Damascus would fail to implement the Annan plan and that the conflict in Syria would unleash a “major crisis” in the entire region. In the worst case scenario, “members of this Council and members of the international community are left with the option only of having to consider whether they’re prepared to take actions outside of the Annan plan and the authority of this Council,” she said.
The Russian Ambassador of the United Nations Vitali Tschurkin places the blame for a possible civil war not in his country, but in Germany and other countries, referring to the expulsion of Syrian ambassadors after the massacre in Haula: “That could be a signal and misunderstood by those who want further fighting in Syria. Such a thing is only done in diplomatic tradition when one is preparing for the worst.”*
Russia Feels Itself Reminded of the Serbian War
Russia’s European Union ambassador warned against a “misuse” of the massacre in Haula for a military strike. “Although the background of this tragedy is unclear, some countries are already forging plans (for a possible military solution),” said Vladimir Tschischow, the Russian Ambassador to the E.U., according to news agency Itar-Tass.*
Moscow finds itself uncomfortably reminded of the situation in former Yugoslavia, when the West acted against the leadership in Belgrade with armed force. They hope that the governments in the European Union and other countries will keep a cool head and not allow themselves to be carried along into military involvement.
Federal Chancellor Merkel hopes to come to a mutual resolution with Russia. She is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his first official visit in Berlin. She made it clear that she is relying on Russia’s cooperation in the efforts to find a solution to the months-long conflict in Syria. The chancellor did not want to comment upon her expectations from the discussions. She said, however, that Russia had acted constructively in the U.N. Security Council: “I think that we have a certain degree of commonality when it is a matter of protecting human rights and bringing these terrible violations of human rights to an end.”
Merkel described the situation in Syria as a “catastrophe” where “the prospects are really bad.”
*Editor’s note: The original quotations, while accurately translated, could not be verified in English.