Regime Violence Continues to Escalate in Syria

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Acting Spokesperson Mark C. Toner today said the United States condemn the Syrian military’s escalation of violence in Homs, Daraa and other cities prior to the deployment of the Arab League monitors.

“We have seen horrific pictures of indiscriminate fire, including by heavy tank guns, and heard reports of dozens of deaths, thousands of arrests, as well as beatings of peaceful protestors.” -Mr. Toner

He noted that the repressive actions are not consistent with the terms of the Arab League initiative that the Syrian regime agreed to on November 2 or the protocol on observers that the regime agreed to on December 19. He said the agreements were designed to protect civilians, called for removal of military forces from the cities; allowing peaceful demonstrations; stopping violence by security forces, including the government’s shabiha militia; releasing all political prisoners; and allowing Arab League monitors and members of the international media to report freely on events throughout the country.

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Hardeep Singh Puri, President of the Security Council for August and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, briefs journalists after the Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria.UN Photo/Mark Garten

“In keeping with the Arab League agreement, we expect that Arab League monitors will be able to deploy and move freely within Homs and other Syrian cities as protestors peacefully gather in reaction to the regime’s excessive violence.” -Mr. Toner

He stressed that the monitors should have unfettered access to protestors and to areas most severely affected by the regime’s crackdown. He added they bear a heavy responsibility in trying to protect Syrian civilians from the depredations of a murderous regime.

He stressed that the next steps that the United States and the international community take will consider the extent of genuine cooperation from Syrian authorities with the Arab League monitoring mission, and the government’s degree of compliance with the other elements of the Arab League initiative.

“If the Syrian regime continues to resist and disregard Arab League efforts, the international community will consider other means to protect Syrian civilians.” -Mr. Toner

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.