US, Europe Voice Concern Over Russian Arms Deals With Syria

Russia’s reported sale of fighter jets and ammunition to the Assad government in Syria drew veiled criticism Tuesday from Western states at the UN Security Council, who urged “supplier countries” to stop selling arms to the regime in Damascus.

U.S., French and British Ambassadors alluded to reports of arms sales to the Syrian government, but came short of directly naming Moscow during a Security Council debate on the Middle East.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice told the Council her government was concerned by recent reports and would encourage all members of the international community “to join the widening effort to stop the flow of weapons to the Assad regime.”

French and British representatives also criticized the recently reported deals.

“ It is unacceptable that countries, including within the Council, continue to provide the means by which violence is committed against the Syrian people.” said French Ambassador Gerard Araud.

In December, UN Human Rights Council chief Navi Pillay urged the Security Council to refer to Syrian situation to the International Criminal Court after a Rights Council mandated investigation found the Assad regime had committed crimes against humanity in its crackdown against civilians.

The UN says over 5 000 people have been killed in Syria since anti-government protests broke out last March and several thousand more have been detained.

While UN officials say Syrian state security forces or pro-government militias are responsible for the large majority of casualties, they also note a significant increase in attacks by armed opposition groups.

“The United States continues to call on the opposition to refrain from violence while recognizing that exercising such restraint becomes more and more difficult as the regime ratchets up its repression.” Rice told the Council. “We hold the Syrian regime fully responsible for the worsening cycle of violence.”

In October, Russia used its veto at the Security Council to block a resolution condemning the Assad government.  Moscow argued the Western backed text was too one sided, that it failed to address the violence carried out against Syrian state security forces and would ultimately worsen the country’s security situation.

Russian diplomats also said they were concerned the Western backed resolution would be used to justify the type of military intervention seen in Libya.

At the time US Ambassador Susan Rice said the Libya comparison was  “ …a cheap ruse by those who would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people.”

Tags: , , , , ,

About TRNS Washington Desk

View all posts by TRNS Washington Desk
TRNS Washington Desk
News updates from on and around Capitol Hill.

U.S. Begins Air Campaign Against ISIS In Syria

Despite being buffered by Jordan, multiple locations in Syria are within 75 miles of Jerusalem   /   TRNS

The beginning of the airstrikes in Syria marks a major escalation in the fight against the terrorist organization. Prior to this point, the fighting had been limited to Iraq, largely to protect Americans.

LISTEN: The Day Ahead – September 23, 2014

The Day Ahead Logo

120+ leaders talk climate change in New York, the Lebanese parliament attempts to pick a president and Nintendo turns 125.

White House Jumper Had 800 Rounds Of Ammo In Car, Says Prosecutor

Photo/Nicholas Salazar TRNS

Omar Gonzalez was able to enter the White House before finally being apprehended by the Secret Service, sparking a massive internal investigation.

LISTEN: The World in 2:00 – September 22, 2014

The World in 2:00 continents logo

Turkey blocks Kurds from returning to Syria to fight the Islamic State, and Ban Ki-moon distances himself from anti-corporate #FloodWallStreet demonstrators

Rice: Southeast Asia A Top Priority To U.S.

Rice stressed that the Asia pivot is alive and well.

White House Jumper Due In Court Monday

White-House

42-year-old Omar Gonzalez is facing charges that could land him in prison for up to ten years after scaling the White House fence and even managing to enter the building.