US, UN poised for diplomatic assault on Syria's Assad
The US is expected to call for Bashar al-Assad to step down and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will push for International Criminal Court action against the Syrian president.
(Page 2 of 2)
…Skip to next paragraph
Israeli general hints at another Gaza campaign
Unclaimed attack on Islamic school raises tension in Nigeria
See no evil? Activists doubt credibility of Arab League mission to Syria.
Arab League observers head to Syria's war-ravaged Homs
Christmas church bombings put global spotlight on 'Nigerian Taliban' (VIDEO)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Although Ankara might have not succeeded with its preventive diplomacy on Syria, since Assad has not taken steps to end the violence or implement urgent reforms, Turkey prefers diplomatic ambiguity before applying isolation policies to Damascus. A limited engagement policy could continue for the Syrian administration, the diplomatic source said.
The call for Assad to step down and the new sanctions are not likely to have much of an effect right away, US officials acknowledged to AP, but it will mark the end of American support for Assad as a possible reformer.
On Wednesday, Syria told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon that it had halted military operations against civilians who the regime continually described as "armed gangs," "foreign saboteurs," and "terrorists" throughout the uprising. However, the Local Coordination Committees, which tracks antigovernment protests, says that Syrian troops killed nine people in the city of Homs after the regime's announcement to the secretary general, MSNBC reports.
Mr. Ban is expected to suggest today that the UN Security Council refer the Assad regime to the International Criminal Court, although whether it will get there is unclear – according to MSNBC, veto-wielding members China and Russia oppose the idea.
Since Syria has not ratified the Rome Statute, which gives the ICC jurisdiction, the only way its case can be brought to the ICC is through a Security Council recommendation, The Christian Science Monitor's Dan Murphy reported this week.
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay will address the council today, likely to relay evidence from their report on Syria that the regime has "committed grave violations of international human rights law."