West’s support for Syria rebels is stirring a civil war, says China
20 Feb 2012
China today accused the West of provoking a civil war in Syria.
In a front page article in the Communist Party newspaper, the People’s Daily, the West was attacked for supporting the rebels intent on toppling Syria’s president Bashar Assad.
Party leaders in Beijing are believed to have been heavily involved in the article which accuses the US and her allies of purposely provoking a “large-scale civil war”.
China and Russia angered the West and Arab states this month by blocking a draft UN Security Council resolution that backed an Arab League plan demanding that Assad step aside.
In the editorial it is claimed that if the Security Council had passed the resolution it would only have caused more violence.
The author, named as foreign affairs expert Qu King, added: “If Western countries continue to fully support Syria’s opposition, then in the end a large-scale civil war will erupt and there will be no way to thus avoid the possibility of foreign armed intervention.”
The US, Europe, Turkey and Gulf-led Arab states have all demanded Assad steps down but the West has, so far, ruled out a Libya-style military intervention.
However, the Arab League said some of its members were willing to arm the opposition and yesterday Foreign Secretary William Hague appeared to echo that proposal saying: “We cannot intervene in the way we did in Libya … we will do many other things.”
Meanwhile in Syria, the rebel army carried out a guerrilla-style attack in an apparent change of tactics after weeks of heavy losses at the hands of government troops.
Gunmen ambushed a car carrying senior state prosecutor Nidal Ghazal and judge Mohammed Ziadeh yesterday killing them both.
On Saturday an unnamed politician – believed to have been close to the president – was assassinated by rebel snipers in the regime stronghold of Aleppo.
As fears of a long civil war grow, neighbouring Jordan is racing to finish a refugee camp near the Syrian border.
In the besieged city of Homs, government forces sent in reinforcements as they shelled the rebel-held Baba Amr district that has been under near constant barrage for nearly two weeks.
The UN last gave a death toll for the conflict in January, saying 5,400 had been killed last year.
But hundreds more have been killed since, according to activist groups.
Local coordination committees said more than 7,300 had died since the uprising began more than 11 months ago.