Turkey Threatens Syria Sanctions Despite UN Resolution Veto

Posted October 5th, 2011 at 11:40 am (UTC-5)
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his government will impose its own sanctions on Syria, despite the failure of a European-drafted resolution at the U.N. Security Council.

Russia and China vetoed the resolution Tuesday, sparking U.S. and European outrage. The measure contained possible references to sanctions against Syria if its leader pursues a crackdown on opposition protesters.

Mr. Erdogan said during a speech in South Africa Wednesday that the failed resolution will not deter Turkey and some European countries from taking action.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said France and others tried everything possible to propose a strong resolution that reflected everyone's concerns about what he called the “massacring” of the Syrian people. He said Tuesday was a “sad day” for the Syrian people and the U.N. Security Council.

However, a senior aid to the Syrian president told the French news agency that Tuesday was a “historic day.” Bouthaina Shaaban told AFP in Damascus that Russia and China stood “with the Syrian people” and provided the time needed for the government to “enforce and enhance reforms.”

Syria has been using military force to crush almost seven months of opposition protests demanding an end to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's 11-year autocratic rule.

The United Nations says at least 2,700 people have been killed in the crackdown against protesters and other dissidents.

Turkey has provided refuge for several Syrian dissidents. A Syrian colonel who found refuge there and heads the armed opposition force called the Free Syrian Army said a brutal crackdown last week in Rastan was an operation to capture him.

Colonel Riad al-Asaad says he defected in July after refusing to follow Syrian government orders to shoot protesters. He says his opposition group now has more than 10,000 defectors.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the U.N. resolution draft written by France, Britain, Germany and Portugal was opposed by countries who “would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime.” She said Washington is “outraged” by the vote.

Also Wednesday, Syrian state television broadcast an interview with a woman who had been reportedly been killed last month while in the custody.

A woman who identified herself as Zainab al-Hosni said she had fled her home in July because her brother allegedly abused her, and that she heard the reports of her death on television.

International rights groups, including London-based Amnesty International, said last month she was the first woman to die in custody since the anti-government uprising began. The groups denounced her death, and said her mother had found her mutilated body.