Dubai Patience grew thin yesterday over Syria's non-compliance with a peace plan that sought to end the government's bloody crackdown, with European representatives pressing the United Nations Security Council to urgently implement an embargo on sending weapons to Syria.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution condemning President Bashar Al Assad's regime. Turkey also upped its rhetoric against its southern neighbour. "In the face of developments in Syria, we are taking into consideration any kind of possibility in line with our national security and interests," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said. "Planning what kind of measures we will take if tens of thousands of people end up on our border is a requirement of being a big state," he said. "This is not an intervention or warmongering as some claim."
The foreign minister did not specify what measures his government would take, but the mass influx of refugees fleeing the Syrian unrest has raised alarm in Ankara. On Wednesday French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the UN-backed peace plan was "seriously compromised" and held out the threat of seeking military action to end the Al Assad regime's brutal 13-month crackdown on dissent.
Syria's main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting as it accused regime forces of having killed more than 100 people in the central city of Hama. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said regime shelling of a working-class district of Hama killed at least 12 people on Wednesday, but activists on the ground said it was a missile attack put the death toll as high as 68, including 16 children. The state news agency attributed the blast to anti-regime fighters who botched a bomb-making attempt.
Video leak: Man being buried alive
A video that emerged on YouTube purportedly shows a man being buried alive by security forces, allegedly for sending material to TV stations. Its authenticity could not be confirmed. The unnamed man, who is said to be a media activist, is seen pleading for his life as earth is shovelled over his head. He then goes silent. What appear to be members of the security forces are then heard cursing him for receiving money for sending material to Arabic satellite TV stations. The video was leaked by sympathisers.