Europe, U.S. , Japan and Iran React to Syrian Protests and Crackdown

Stop Fundamentalism, 20 August 2011 – Demonstrations continue across Syria in Damascus and other cities.  19 protestors were killed Friday when their rally was met by security forces’ machinegun fire.  News agencies report that besides those killed, over 300 demonstrators were arrested.

Dissidents announced yesterday that there is growing opposition among the ranks of the Syrian military in Hama and a number of officers confronted Bashar Assad’s plainclothes agents.  The officers announced that they have organized groups to protect demonstrators and people.

Meanwhile Bashar Assad’s international condemnations continue.  According to news agencies, top UN officials said Thursday during a Security Council session that Assad forces blindfolded and shut dead 26 victims in a stadium.  A United Nation monitoring team will go to Syrian on a four-day mission to evaluate the situation of human right in that country this week.

On the other hand a number of European Countries have introduced a draft resolution to condemn Bashar Assad clampdown on his people to the Security Council for review. 

At the same time US Treasury Department says that Barack Obama has introduced oil sanctions in order to directly target Syria’s export of oil.

European Union is also working on introducing tough sanctions against Syria’s oil industry.

On the diplomatic front, Switzerland has called in its Ambassador to Syria condemning clampdown on protesters in this country.  Also Japan called in its Ambassador and asked Assad to step down.

Iranian state-run news agencies reported that, “Barack Obama called on his Syrian counterpart to step down for the first time and claimed that Bashar Assad is a serious obstacle on Syria’s path to its future.”  The news agency, displaying Iran’s concern over Assad’s downfall described the joint statement by France, United Kingdom and Germany to be illegitimate and meddling in a sovereign country’s internal affairs.