Frustrated with the mounting civil war in Syria and the inaction of the world powers’ to unite to stop the war in the Arab state, the former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, announced his resignation as United Nations special envoy for the conflict in Syria effective August 31, 2012.
Annan stated at a news conference in Geneva that he is bowing out because of the "finger-pointing and name-calling" in the UN Security Council and because of President Bashar al-Assad's pertinacity in not doing what is right for his country. He voiced that he took the impossible task of being a mediator hoping to end the mounting tension at Syria and secure a nonviolent transition of government, but cannot do it if the 15-nation Security Council doesn't fully back him up.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States has gotten hold of information indicating an imminent delivery of attack helicopters on the way to Syria from their Russian allies.
The UN observer mission sent to Syria to monitor a ceasefire that never took hold has been suspended in response to increasing risk to the observers and the “lack of willingness by the parties to seek a peaceful solution”, announced Major General Robert Mood of the United Nations Security Council.
France has given a strong warning to Syria and held out the threat of seeking military action to end the year-long crackdown after French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé described the UN-backed peace plan for Syria 'seriously compromised'. "Things are not going well," Juppé told Syrian opposition members in Paris on Wednesday. "The Annan plan is seriously compromised but there is still a chance for this mediation, on the condition of the rapid deployment of the 300 monitors."
Ready to go.
The United Nations have organised an advanced team of observers ready to enter Syria, which has been plagued with violent conflict for more than a year. The team is on stand by would go on site as soon the Security Council gives the order.
A strong and united message.
The U.N. Security Council has expressed their full support for former U.N. secretary-general and current joint U.N. and Arab League special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan’s proposals for a realistic Syria peace plan.
Annan appealed to the Security Council last Friday for its support, stating that the stronger and more unified the message, the better the chances of ending the Syrian conflict without further needless bloodshed. The Security Council, in turn, overcame its divisions and agreed on a council statement giving strong backing to Annan’s efforts to shift the dynamics of what Ban Ki-moon, current U.N. Secretary-General, calls the most pressing issue facing the world today.
The bloodshed continues.
The momentum has unmistakably shifted to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s side as government forces recaptured most of of Idlib following a successful siege on the northern rebel stronghold near the Turkish border.
Idlib, a predominantly Sunni city of some 150,000 people located about 160 kilometres north of Homs, had largely been under the control of hundreds of fighters for the rebel Free Syrian Army until 3 days of heavy shelling pushed the armed opposition fighters out. The three-day operation followed a monthlong campaign that drove rebels out of another key piece of territory it had controlled, the Baba Amr district in the city of Homs.
Assad’s supporters ‘keep the faith’.
The inability of the United Nations to agree on a consensus regarding Syria has led Turkey to take the lead in building a common accord amongst the international community, to try and bring an end to the conflict.
While most Turks are against the bloodshed across Syria, opinions in southern provinces are mixed on President Bashar al Assad and Turkey's involvement in the matter. It then is important to note that Assad is of the Alawite faith, a branch of Shia Islam that has long been suppressed by ruling governments. Consequently, most of the Alawite community treasure a strong connection with the Syrian president and are set to protect their brother in the faith.
Bashar al-Assad is “fully committed” to ending the bloodshed in Syria.
Russia’s foreign minister has announced that they have been able to secure a commitment from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop the violence sweeping the country even as regime tanks pounded the city of Homs for a fourth day.
Russian envoy Sergei Lavrov said he had had a "very useful" meeting with Assad and that Moscow was eager to work towards a solution based on Arab League peace proposals. "We (Russia) confirmed our readiness to act for a rapid solution to the crisis based on the plan put forward by the Arab League," he said, adding Syria was ready to see an enlarged Arab League mission in the country, Russian news agencies reported. It comes as Europe steps up pressure on Syria, by recalling ambassadors and considering new sanctions to cut the regime's access to cash.
Although largely expected, the rare double-veto was still met with an international outcry.
As the past 24 hours have been one of the bloodiest of Syria's war, with government forces indiscriminately shelling the restive town of Homs over night, Russia and China remained unmoved.
All 13 other members of the council, including the US, France and Britain, voted in favour of the resolution, which backed an Arab peace plan aimed at stopping the violence in Syria. The Russia and China veto of a UN Security Council resolution calling for Syrian President Basar al-Assad to resign was coming was expected all week – and their decision to follow through on it has provoked a furious reaction.