NEWS FROM SYRIA
McCain raises prospect of military option in Syria
Breitbart.com reports: “US Senator John McCain raised the prospect of possible armed intervention to protect civilians in Syria where a crackdown on pro-democracy protests has killed more than 3,000 people.
Now that military operations in Libya are ending, there will be renewed focus on what practical military operations might be considered to protect civilian lives in Syria, McCain told a World Economic Forum meeting in Jordan.
McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime should not consider that it can get away with mass murder.
Libya’s ousted leader Moamer Kadhafi, who was captured and killed made that mistake and it cost him everything, he said.
There are even growing calls among the opposition for some foreign military intervention. We hear these pleas for assistance. We are listening to and engaging with the (opposition) National Council, he added ” (Syria is headed for disaster. Isaiah 17:1 has never occurred but may soon bring the fulfillment of this text “ Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” See also the next three reports.)
France FM: Fall of Assad government in Syria ‘unavoidable’
Haaretz reports: “The government of Syrian President Bashar Assad will almost certainly fall under the pressure of protests and sanctions, but it will take time due to the complexity of internal and regional politics, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said.
With a crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Syria now seven months old, Western powers including France are relying on a combination of sanctions and diplomatic pressure to weaken Assad’s hold on power.
The European Union widened sanctions against Assad and the Syrian state after China and Russia blocked an attempt by Western powers to bring about a UN Security Council resolution condemning violence against protesters.
It’s true that in New York (at the United Nations) we were blocked, and that is a stain on the Security Council, which said almost nothing about this barbaric repression, Juppe said on France Inter radio.
This will end with the fall of the regime, it is nearly unavoidable, but unfortunately it could take time because the situation is complex, because there is a risk of civil war between Syrian factions, because surrounding Arab countries do not want us to intervene. ”
Arab League chief warns of ‘disastrous consequences’ if Syria deal fails
Haaretz reports: “Government forces intensified their attack on pro-democracy protesters and army defectors, leaving 15 people dead, as the Arab League chief warns of disaster if the violence continued.
Secretary General of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabi, said that the failure of the Arab initiative would have disastrous consequences on the situation in Syria and the region as a whole.
He also warned the various parties against ignoring the Arab League plan, agreed this week, which called on the government to withdraw its troops from the streets, release all political prisoners, grant foreign media free access to Syria and hold talks with opposition.
Shortly following his statement, the Syrian government released 553 detainees, arrested during the events in Syria, who they said did not have blood on their hands – on the occasion of the Muslims’ Eid al-Adha, which begins on Sunday [November 6, 2011]. Authorities also promised to withdraw troops from the streets on Sunday.
Syria means what it says and we will implement the Arab League agreement, every aspect of it. If we agree to something, we do it, the deputy foreign minister, Abdulfattah Ammura, told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper We are working on it. We will see it very shortly, hopefully before Eid al-Adha, Ammura said ”
Syria’s Assad warns of ‘earthquake’ if West intervenes
BBC News reports: “Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned of an earthquake if the West intervenes in his country.
In a rare interview with the UK’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Mr. Assad said involvement risked transforming Syria into another Afghanistan.
The UN has renewed its call for the repression to end, and China has warned Syria the situation cannot continue.
More than 50 civilians and members of the security forces were killed according to the two sides.
Activists said 21 civilians were killed and that army tanks had shelled a historic district in the city of Homs.
The government said 20 soldiers were killed in Homs, and 10 members of the security forces were killed during an ambush of their bus in Idlib province.
More than 3,000 people have died in the unrest since protests calling for the government of Mr. Assad to step down broke out in March.
In the Sunday Telegraph interview, Mr. Assad said Western countries were going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely.
Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the faultline, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake, he said.
Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region.
Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans?
President Assad admitted that many mistakes had been made by his security forces in the early part of the uprising, but the paper said he insisted that only terrorists were now being targeted.
He said he had responded differently to the Arab Spring than other, deposed Arab leaders.
We didn’t go down the road of stubborn government, he said. Six days after [the protests began], I commenced reform.
Mr. Assad described the uprising as a struggle between Islamism and pan-Arabism.
We’ve been fighting the Muslim Brotherhood since the 1950s and we are still fighting with them, he said ”