Syrian soldiers desert to Turkey – VOR
A group of Syrian soldiers fled to Turkey on Monday, bringing to 85 the overall number of government troops, including a General and several senior officers, who have in the past few weeks deserted to the neighbouring country.
On June 21 two Syrian Air Force pilots flew their fighter jet to Jordan where they were given political asylum. A few days later 39 government troops, including a General and two Colonels, crossed the border into Turkey.
Jul 3, 2012
2 Syrian border guards wounded
The Lebanese militants have fired at the Syrian frontier post. As a result of this shootout 2 border guards were wounded, the France Press news agency (AFP) reported on July 2nd with a reference to representatives of the Lebanese power structures.
A missile that was fired from the Lebanese territory at dawn hit an immigration control post.
There were a series of incidents with the use of arms on the Lebanese-Syrian border earlier, media reports said.
Turkey scramble six F-16 fighter jets
Turkey has scrambled six F-16 fighter jets in response to the flights of Syrian helicopters near their common border.
A spokesman for the Turkish Air Force says that all these fighter jets took off from the Indjirlik airbase in the southern part of the country.
According to him, the conduct of the Turkish air forces offers proof that the new principles to assess possible threats Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan spoke about in view of the destruction of a Turkish fighter jet by Syria on June 22nd are currently being realized.
Russia to expand ties with Syrian opposition
The new head of the Syrian National Council, Abdel Baset Sida, is due to visit Moscow Russia in mid-July, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Monday.
He added that during the visit, Baset Sida is expected to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Bogdanov also said that a Syrian delegation headed by opposition leader Michel Kilowill will arrive in Moscow later this week.
He referred to the June 30 Geneva conference on Syria, where the participants stressed the necessity of interacting more with representatives of the Syrian opposition.
The participants also urged the creation of Syria’s transition government which they said should be endorsed by all parties concerned.
Syria’s armed opposition to boycott Cairo conference
According to officials of Syria’s armed opposition, the opposition will boycott the Cairo conference on Syria that’s due to kick off in Egypt’s capital later today.
This is reported by the France Presse news agency with reference to a statement signed by the so-called Free Syrian Army and “independent” opponents of President Bashar Assad.
The opposition has accused the participants in the Cairo conference of that the latter “reject any idea of armed interference to save the people”. We are rejecting any form of dialogue or talks, the statement says.
The Cairo conference has been called by the Arab League and is due in Egypt’s capital on Monday and Tuesday. Taking part are some 250 representatives of various opposition groups and independent figures. An internal settlement plan is due to be adopted in the wake of the meeting.
US preps for tougher Syria sanctions
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned that Washington is ready to consider stepping up sanctions against the Syria regime if it falls short of complying with UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s plan on setting up a collation government in the country.
Answering the question by a Bloomberg journalist on whether the next step would be proposing Chapter 7 sanctions, Hillary Clinton said: “I think where we are today gives us the basis for going to the UN Security Council to discuss what consequences have to be considered and imposed if after empowering Kofi Annan he comes to the Security Council and reports to us – as he said he will do – that the government’s not cooperating, that other parties are not cooperating, that he’s not making progress. Then I think we will have to act.”
Chapter 7 of the UN Charter also authorizes implementation of military force to ward off any threat to the global peace.
Mrs. Clinton stressed however that the US is going to test first whether they can get the agreement they reached at the Geneva meeting.
Yet, she maintained Washington is set to “consider any and all appropriate action through the Security Council as circumstances require.”
Clinton pins Syria peace settlement on stopping arms deliveries
Speaking on the heels of the Geneva summit, US Secretary of State said it was important that Russia stopped providing Damascus with weapons.
Mrs. Clinton said this issue required further elaboration to allow for advancement in the peace process. She stressed it was of uttermost importance to cut off the arms supply to the Assad regime.
In her interview to Bloomberg, Hillary Clinton reminded of Russia’s allegations that none of the weapons it has been ferrying to Syria are used to crack down on protests, saying the US was of a different opinion.
Under Geneva agreements, Assad must go – Paris
Reuters has quoted French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius as saying that under an agreement reached at the Geneva conference on Syria, the Syrians must put together a fully-powered transitional government which would not include Bashar Assad.
Assad is finished, the Syrian opposition will never do business with him, Mr Fabius reportedly said.
He also said France would invoke Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, under which a threat to peace or an act of aggression can be responded to by imposing sanctions on or using military force against the offender. He said his country would raise the matter at the UN Security Council.
Damascus, he said, deserves punishment for flouting its obligations under Kofi Annan’s settlement plan.
TASS, RIA, Interfax
Jul 2, 2012