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UN Security Council backs Annan peace plan

Published time: March 22, 2012 03:32
Edited time: March 22, 2012 09:15

Armed Syrian men, members of the rebel Free Syrian Army, gather in a mountainous area of the restive Idlib province in northwestern Syria on March 13, 2012. (AFP Photo / Ricardo Garcia Vilanova)

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After months of deadlock, the UN Security Council has adopted a non-binding statement on Syria. The move endorses special envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan, calling on both sides to agree to a ceasefire and to secure humanitarian access to the country.

­However, the US is still backing the opposition despite human rights groups saying there is evidence the rebels are guilty of “gross abuses”.

In their public letter Human Rights Watch have reinforced the position that Moscow has been holding since the middle of 2011; namely that there are elements within the Syrian opposition who are not peaceful at all. According to the organization, they are guilty of such human rights abuses as detention, intimidation and torture all committed not only against the security forces but to those Syrian people who support the government.

Human Rights Watch say they have reviewed at least 25 videos on YouTube, where members of Syrian security forces are allegedly confessing – apparently under duress – to crimes they had committed.

In addition to this, they had video footage showing the opposition executing people in its custody. The group is calling on the opposition in Syria to forbid its members from doing this. However, this raises the question of who exactly is in charge of the country’s opposition. On top of that, it is believed that Al-Qaeda is operating in the country against President Bashar Assad.

On the one hand, Washington and its Western allies recognize the Syrian National Council. On the other, there are numerous elements who do not belong to this body. They are acting of their own accord, with no organized command structure, and they are commonly characterized by anti-Shia sentiments.

With all this in mind, the calls from the West for President Bashar Assad to step down appear to be unclear in terms of who or what will replace the Syrian regime.

US-based journalist and author Susan Lindauer believes that the United States, far from helping to resolve the Syria crisis, is actually fueling it by training the armed opposition.

“One of the reasons the violence has continued is that the United States is covertly financing the opposition to Bashar Assad’s government,” she told RT. “The United States is providing tactical assistance for training military operations. It’s being done outside of the country, just across the border.”

Lindauer added that as long as Washington continues to feed this conflict, it will go on.

“What’s good for Bashar Assad is also good for Hillary Clinton. The United States must announce that it will stop supporting the rebels in Syria,” she said.

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