08/04/2011, 00.00
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UN condemns Damascus, while Hama siege drags on

The Security Council condemns human rights violations and use of force, but excludes any foreign intervention. Violence of the demonstrators also condemned. Tanks enter the centre of Hama and surround Deir Ezzor. Forces open fire on the fleeing crowd. Protests every night throughout Ramadan. Tens of thousands demonstrate in Deir al-Zour, Duma, Homs.
New York (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The UN Security Council last night approved a statement condemning the Syrian government for the bloody and deadly repression of its population. Meanwhile, news has emerged that the Damascus army is launching new attacks against the protests in Hama and preparing a decisive intervention in Deir Ezzor for tomorrow.

The UN statement comes after weeks of discussion and months after the crackdown first began. Among the opponents of the condemnation were Russia and China, who feared that the position would lead to military actions similar to those in Libya.

In fact, the statement "condemning the widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities," said the authors should be held accountable, but
emphasizes that the only solution to the crisis is an internal political process, excluding any foreign intervention.

Previously the EU had demanded an investigation into human rights violations, but instead there is only an invitation to collaborate with the UN Commission on Human Rights. To further ensure a "balanced" text, the Declaration also calls for "the cessation of all violence" by all sides, including "attacks against state institutions."

The statement has been praised by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as "a clear message of the international community" to Bashar al-Assad. The White House spokesman, Jay Carney, said that the U.S. does not see the survival of Assad as important for "stability" of the Middle East. The Lebanese ambassador to the UN, while not hindering the statement "distanced" himself from it after the vote, deeming it "unhelpful" to the situation.

Meanwhile, news has arrived from Syria that at least 100 tanks and trucks are entering the centre of Hama, and that about 200 tanks have surrounded Deir Ezzor, ready to enter the town by tomorrow. According to militants, it is "open war" with indiscriminate firing on civilians who are “fleeing Hama", targeted by the military. These reports can not be independently verified because the Syrian government has expelled all foreign journalists.
In recent days, at least 140 people were killed in Hama, the city already had seen a 1982 massacre of more than 20 thousand people from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Protesters have promised to demonstrate every evening, at the end of fasting during the month of Ramadan.

There has also been marches reported in other Syrian cities: 50 thousand in Deir al-Zour, 20 thousand in the Duma, 40 thousand in Homs.

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See also
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Hama: “inhuman” Syrian army offensive against the rebels continues
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