Senior State Department Official today said Syrians worry about the reality of a civil war if Assad stays.
On the special background briefing on Syria, Senior State Department Official said Secretary Clinton met with seven members of the Syrian National Council, the SNC, which is a broad umbrella group representing a wide swath of the Syrian opposition both inside Syria and in the diaspora. The SNC delegation was led by Professor Burhan Ghalioun, the organization’s president.
Senior State Department Official said the officials spoke about the regime tearing apart the fabric of Syrian society.
“They called this a struggle for dignity, a struggle for the dignity of the Syrian people. They said that some in the outside worry about the risk of a civil war if Assad goes, but Syrians worry about the reality of a civil war if Assad stays. And one said, “It is the regime that is trying to militarize, sectarianize, and Islamacize our revolution for dignity.” -Senior State Department Official
Senior State Department Official noted that officials never thought about Syria as being a particularly sectarian place where the confessions were pitted against each other, but that has been the approach the regime has taken in its effort to maintain control, but it’s seeking to divide the society, turn the confessions on each other.
Senior State Department Official stated the officials spoke particularly poignantly about their concern for the need to protect civilians.
UN Photo/Pierre Albouy
“Obviously, in Hamas and Homs, where the violence has been particularly acute, but all over the country, citing not only killings that we all know about, the arrests and the torture, but new, gruesome weapons of violence, including the use of rape against both men and women, and the targeting of children.” -Senior State Department Official
Senior State Department Official stressed that Secretary Clinton sought the meeting in order to hear from the opposition on major subjects- its plans for Syria’s transition from a brutal, corrupt, and self-serving family dictatorship to government reflecting rule of law and the consent of the governed.