Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press & Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams – 2013-02-24 23:45:16
US Blocks UN Resolution Condemning Damascus Bombing
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(February 22, 2013) — Yesterday’s massive bombing attack near the Ba’ath Party headquarters in Damascus, an attack which left 100 people dead and 250 others wounded, the vast majority civilians, was a “war crime,” according to UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
In a personal statement, Brahimi said that “nothing could justify such horrible actions that amount to war crimes under international law,” and said that he “strongly condemns” the attack.
Brahimi’s personal statement is going to be the closest we get to a UN condemnation of the killings, however, as the US has blocked a Russian resolution from moving through the UN Security Council condemning the attack.
The US denied being opposed to a resolution as such but wanted an alternative resolution that focused on condemnations of the Syrian government, while mentioning the bombing as a secondary concern. They went on to accuse Russia of blocking that statement, even though it mentioned the bombing in passing, and insisted that was the real opposition to the condemnation.
Russia-US Spat Dooms UN Statement on Damascus Bomb
Sniping between Moscow and Washington over Syria does not augur well for upcoming meeting between foreign ministers
UNITED NATIONS (February 22, 2013) — — Russia and the United States are blaming each other for the failure of the Security Council to issue a statement condemning the car bomb attack in Damascus that killed at least 53 people.
The attack Wednesday on Syria’s ruling party headquarters and two other bombs that struck intelligence offices left at least 75 dead.
Russia accuses the US of blocking a council statement condemning the rebel attacks. The US says it supported the statement but wanted to add language condemning the Assad regime’s recent attacks. The sniping between Moscow and Washington over Syria, while not new, hardly augurs well for a Feb. 26 meeting in Berlin of Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and John Kerry, the new US secretary of state.
The meeting will focus on Syria, among other matters.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
Stripped of ‘Country of Origin’ Label, US Agrees to Sell Tear Gas to Egypt
Canisters shipped without company’s name, country of origin
Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams
(February 22, 2013) — Egypt’s Interior Ministry ordered 140,000 teargas canisters from the United States in January, which the US State Department only allowed to be exported without the company’s name or any indication they were made in the US, the Egypt Independent reports Friday.
From letters between the Interior Ministry and Defense Ministry: “In light of the ongoing incidents and growing need for gas bombs to deal with rioters and preserve the nations safety, Al-Guindy Company for Imports and Exports, a representative of the US Combined System Company in Egypt, has been contracted to import 70,000 gas bombs and 70,000 long-range gas projectiles from the US to Egypt,” the letter stated.
From a memo written on January 28, 2013 by Major General Magdy al-Gohary, head of the Egyptian Department for Police Supply:
“The US government was stringent in issuing export permits for Egypt items that have been contracted since July, due to the unstable situation in Egypt and what was circulated by the media and rights groups about the US company’s effect on protesters while using [the gas canisters] against rioters in Egypt.”
“The permit from the US government was obtained after removing the company’s name and country of origin written on the items. While writing the memorandum on 28 January 2013, procedures were taken to ship the items via sea. They are expected to reach the Egyptian ports during the first half of April.”
The 140,000 gas canisters cost around $2,463,000.
On Thursday, US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told the press, “Whether we’re talking about Egypt or any other country on the planet, frankly, we support the right of peaceful protest as one means for citizens to express themselves to their government. But protest has to be peaceful and the response to protest also has to be restrained and peaceful on the part of the government.”
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