Throughout the Syrian conflict, Russia has remained one of the few allies of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. A Russian proposal was put forth in June in Geneva calling for a new UN Security council to bring a ceasefire and peaceful political transition in Syria. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has since struck the proposal down, believing that a resolution “with no teeth” would be ignored by Assad. Clashes between the Syrian government and rebels have grown increasingly violent, with activists claiming that over 160 died in the latest fighting. Government forces have begun staging air attacks on its own people; an air attack in Aleppo killed many in the northern city, and damaged a water supply pipe.
Clinton spoke face to face with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin during the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit held in Russia this week. She took time to speak to reporters about on-going discussion with the Russian diplomats in regards to Syria, their Middle Eastern ally.
“We have to be realistic. We haven’t seen eye-to-eye… that may continue,” Clinton said. “There is no point to passing a resolution with no teeth because we’ve seen time and time again that Assad will ignore it and keep attacking his own people. I will continue to work with Foreign Minister Lavrov to see if we can revisit the idea of putting the Syrian transition plan that we agreed to in Geneva earlier this summer into a Security Council resolution.
“But as I underscored yesterday… that will only be effective if it includes consequences for non-compliance,” Clinton added.
The US Secretary of State reinforced the readiness of the US in supporting Syrian rebels in their attempts to bring down Assad’s regime. The death toll during the 18 months of civil unrest in the country has been listed at over 23,000. While neighboring states have provided support to the rebels in the form of supplies and training, no international party has made a decision to intervene. As clashes between the rebels and government forces continue, approximately 100 people are added to that death toll each day.