'Iran helping Syria to crush anti-government protests'

Hague says no chance of passing UN no-fly zone resolution against Assad government like was done in Libya.

June 13, 2011 11:47
2 minute read.
William Hague

William Hague (R) 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)


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British Foreign Secretary William Hague accused Iran of helping Syria quell anti-government protests, providing "equipment" and logistical support on how to crush the opposition, the Daily Telegraph reported Monday. Hague criticized Iran's "hypocrisy in world affairs."

The UK foreign secretary's comments come after Britain's top diplomat in Iran was summoned last Thursday in Tehran to reject similar a accusation the UK government had made about Syria-Iran ties during the upheavals in Syrian cities from Damascus to Jisr al-Shughur.

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Despite strong British, French, and American support for a UN resolution condemning violent Syrian crackdown, there has been no clear effort to initiate an international-military intervention in the country's internal affairs.

China and Russia have opposed the UN condemnation of Syrian President Bashar Assad's crackdown on the opposition, making even a condemnation difficult to pass at the UN.

According to the Telegraph, Hague explained that there was "no prospect" of passing a resolution similar to UN resolution 1973 on Libya, which authorized a no-fly zone.

The British foreign secretary also mentioned the Arab League support for international action in the Libyan crisis, but said that there was "no such call" for action against Syria.

According to the Telegraph, Hague's announcement comes as a mass grave of at least 10 soldiers was found outside military police headquarters in the northern town of Jisr al-Shaghur, the site of a recent tank-led crackdown on dissidents that saw thousands flee to Turkey.

It was also in Jisr al-Shaghur where a Syrian military defector told Al-Arabiya last week that he had been forced to shoot a number of soldiers who had fired against orders on unarmed civilians, taking women and children as human shields.

The government has claimed, through Syrian television, that the soldiers were killed by "armed gangs" in the area as part of a wider attack that had claimed at least 120. 

At least 1,100 Syrian civilians have been killed in the ongoing conflict in Syria as demonstrators and activists call for the ousting of Assad who has been in power 11 years.

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