Tuesday, April 26, 2011

United States and Britain Threaten Syria With Sanctions

UK and US in sanctions threat to curb Syria protester crackdown

Britain and the US have threatened Syria with new sanctions as the regime stepped up its brutal crackdown on protesters.

Foreign secretary William Hague warned Syrian president Bashar Assad that his country was at ‘a fork in the road’ as bloody clashes continued.

Thousands of soldiers backed by tanks surged into the city of Daraa, where at least 22 people were killed.

Reports claimed troops were firing on civilians, while electricity, water and mobile phone services were cut.

One civilian in Daraa said: ‘We are being subjected to a massacre. We have been without electricity for three days. We have no water.’

An estimated 400 people have died since the unrest began in mid-March, human rights groups say.

The Foreign Office is advising against all travel to Syria, while Mr Hague revealed plans were being made to get up to 700 British nationals out of the country.

British diplomats were yesterday thrashing out with United Nations allies a joint statement condemning the Assad government’s crackdown.

The White House also revealed for the first time that the US was considering pushing for sanctions against Syria.

Mr Hague suggested Britain could support such a call, as he condemned the Syrian government’s ‘violent repression’.

He told the Commons that if Mr Assad refused to comply ‘we will work with our European partners and others to take measures, including sanctions’.

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to Mr Assad by telephone, urging him to show restraint.

And the Arab League said pro- democracy demonstrators ‘deserve support, not bullets’.

It called on Mr Assad to ‘speed up reforms’ and ‘immediately stop using force against civilians’.

Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/861788-uk-and-us-in-sanctions-threat-to-curb-syria-protester-crackdown#ixzz1KfNVYqJ3

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