US President Barack Obama and international diplomats gathered at the “Friends of Syria” meeting in Tunis issued statements yesterday pressing for military intervention in Syria. They cited as a pretext escalating warfare between US-backed Syrian “rebel” forces and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Obama spoke in Washington shortly after the end of the Tunis meeting, saying it was “imperative” to halt the fighting in Syria. “It is time to stop the killing of Syrian civilians by their own government,” he declared. He did not say, however, what action the US government was considering.
After the Tunis meeting, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced the February 4 veto by Russia and China of a UN Security Council resolution moved by the Arab League demanding that Assad step down. She said, “It is quite distressing to see two permanent members of the Security Council using their veto while people are being murdered—women, children, brave young men—houses are being destroyed. It is just despicable and I ask you whose side are they on? They are clearly not on the side of the Syrian people.”