UN Deadlock over Syria as Continuing Violence is Labelled ‘Civil War’
July 16, 2012
The Fresh Outlook
With conflicting reports of Syrian mass killings, The Red Cross has stated the continuing violence has escalated into “civil war”.
The Red Cross’s statement means that Syrian rebels and solders alike are now subject to the Geneva Convention and could be liable for war crimes prosecution in the future.
UN observers have stated that heavy weaponry has been used in the village of Tremseh, in the Hama province, which is a violation of Syria’s commitment to an UN-backed peace plan. There have been conflicting reports of mass killings in Tremseh. The Syrian government has stated that 37 where killed, two of which where civilians. However, other sources have stated that over 200 where killed including civilians, women and children.
There have been increasing reports of fierce fighting on Monday, particularly in the heart of Damascus, the Syrian capital. Syrian civilians are fleeing the city for safer ground.
The UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is in Moscow to try to break the diplomatic deadlock over UN action in Syria. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, has said that the threat of sanctions against Syria in the new UN resolution drafted by western countries contains “elements of blackmail”.
By Sarah Leyland
[Image courtesy of Freedom House]