UFS Urges U.S. Government to Pressure Russia to Allow UNSC Syria Resolution

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Today, United for a Free Syria (UFS) announced the urgent need for the United States government to take stronger action on the Syrian Revolution. This week, negotiations concerning a resolution on Syria have been taking place at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The U.S. possesses a key role in maintaining the peacefulness of the Syrian Revolution and in preventing an armed uprising particularly by exerting additional pressure, urging Russia to allow the resolution to pass.

In March 2011, the Syrian people began their peaceful protests in the streets -- demanding their freedoms and rights and protesting the oppression and brutality of the Assad regime. UN estimates suggest that nearly 7,000 have been killed since the onset of the revolution over 10 months ago.

The U.S. government must utilize its influence and power to pressure Russia to remain neutral when the time comes to vote

Today, United for a Free Syria (UFS) announced the urgent need for the United States government to take stronger action on the Syrian Revolution. This week, negotiations concerning a resolution on Syria have been taking place at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The U.S. possesses a key role in maintaining the peacefulness of the Syrian Revolution and in preventing an armed uprising specifically by exerting additional pressure, urging Russia to allow the resolution to pass.

Read: Russia Under Intense Pressure not to Veto Syria Resolution at UN
Read more: Arab League Floats Ambitious New Peace Plan for Syria

The Security Council resolution, currently under discussion, is primarily based upon the resolution that was adopted by the Arab League on January 22nd in reaction to the report on Syria by the organization's observer mission. The draft expresses concern over the bloodshed as well as "the continued transfer of weapons into Syria, which fuels the violence.”

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UK Foreign Minister William Hague both affirmed that there is no intention of pursuing military intervention, Western or Arab. Hague remarked, "The resolution does not call for military action and could not be used to authorize it.” He continued to direct a warning to Assad, stating, "measures will be considered by this council if there is not an immediate end to the violence.”

Read:Syria Unrest: Clinton and Hague Back Arab League Plan at UN

Russian officials have repeatedly threatened to veto the resolution if it comes to a vote. In October 4, 2011, Russia exerted its vetoing power to block a previous resolution on Syria. Amnesty International released a report today stating that more than 2,600 people have been killed in Syria since then. José Luis Díaz, Amnesty International's representative to the UN, further declared, “Russia bears a heavy responsibility for allowing the brutal crackdown on legitimate dissent in Syria to continue unchecked.”

Read: Syria Resolution Faces Russian Opposition at UN Security Council

Amnesty International and a UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry have both concluded that crimes against humanity are taking place in Syria. Amnesty International is currently urging the UN Security Council to “refer the deteriorating situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, freeze the overseas assets of President al-Assad and his senior associates, and impose an arms embargo.”

Read: Security Council: Russia Must Not Block Efforts to End Atrocities in Syria [Amnesty International ]

In the remarks she delivered at the UNSC session, Secretary Clinton noted that as more Syrians pick up arms to defend the peaceful civilian population, “violence is increasingly likely to spiral out of control.” She also avowed, ‎"The U.S. stands ready to work with every member in this chamber to pass a resolution that supports the Arab League’s efforts."

Watch: Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at UNSC Session on the Situation in Syria

In a statement, UFS Chairman Dr. Yahya Basha commented:

“The U.S. must do all it can to prevent Russia from blocking the international community’s efforts to stop the bloodshed and the human rights violations that have been taking place in Syria for more than 10 months. In March 2011, the U.S. proved its great influence over Russia when the latter nation was prompted to abstain from voting rather than veto the UNSC resolution for a no-fly zone in Libya.

“Everyday, hundreds of peaceful Syrians are tortured, raped, brutalized, and murdered. The Syrian people have been patient. However, as Secretary Clinton noted, more people are beginning to pick up arms; we firmly believe that this UNSC resolution is the last chance for the international community to prevent a full-fledged armed uprising. The opposition will undoubtedly shift its focus from international intervention to civilian protection. We anticipate that there will be calls to support the Free Syrian Army as the protector of the Syrian people and as a legitimate military wing of the Syrian National Council.

“This is an opportunity for the U.S. to prove to the Middle East its intentions with regards to the American War on Terror. Our actions must reflect our rhetoric. The U.S. has condemned Assad, called upon the dictator to end the bloodshed, and placed sanctions on him and a number of his supporters. Today, the Syrian Revolution calls for greater action and we must prove to the Arab World our sincere support for the Syrian people in their aspirations for democracy. The U.S. government must utilize its influence and power to pressure Russia to remain neutral when the time comes to vote.”

United for a Free Syria is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting freedom, dignity, and democracy for the Syrian People.

Media inquiries are welcome. For further information, please contact Leila Tarakji, Media Coordinator of United for a Free Syria, at Ltarakji@UnitedFreeSyria.org or (810) 820-4653.

Updated news and information can also be found at UnitedFreeSyria.org

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Leila Tarakji
United for a Free Syria
(810) 820-4653
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