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Syria Fails to Deflect Criticism Onto 'Israeli Occupation'

Assad's regime tried to shift focus from its brutal crackdown to Israel's presence in the Golan during a meeting of the UN Security Council.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 7/1/2011, 2:32 PM / Last Update: 7/1/2011, 3:43 PM

Syria attempted to shift international focus from President Bashar Al Assad's brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters in his country by raising Israel's 'occupation' of the Golan Heights.

"The real role of the Security Council is to end the illegal occupation of Israel and the Golan," Syrian ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari argued after Western ambassadors raised Assad's repressive tactics during the council's biannual meeting to renew the mandate of the UN separation force in the Golan.

"We know there is an attempt to involve the Security Council in our internal issues, which have no relation to the UN mandate," Jaafari complained. "This is a technical decision by the Security Council, which you are trying to use it to put pressure on Syria."

Jaafari also accused the United States, United Kingdom and France for stirring up touble in the middle east Middle East from the Sykes-Picot agreement to the War in Iraq. Even Germany took fire during Jafari's tantrum over its having supplied Israel with submarines with nuclear capability.

The discussion veered to Assad's domestic woes after Ron Prosor, Israel's new ambassador to the UN, accused Syria of sending protesters to the border to provoke Israel and violate its territory.

Prosor said the violence and unrest in the Golan Heights during recent Nakba and Naksa day protests could not have happened without the active involvement of Assad's regime, who Prosor accused of seeking to divert international attention away from internal events in Syria.

France's permanent representative to the UN, Gerard Aruad, also took aim at Syria and steamrollered over Jaafari's objections calling them 'hypoctitical' before going on to lambaste Assad's brutal police crackdown at great length.

"The council can not accept the hypocrisy of Syria exploiting the Palestinians to divert international criticism from Syria's internal problems. This attempt to divert international attention will not distract us from the repressive measure's Assad's regime has taken against its citizens," said Araud.

Britain's ambassador also expressed concern over the violence employed by the regime and the riots at the Israeli-Syrian border. Germany's ambassador joined Britain its its concerns about the incidents at the border.

"The protesters were not able to get to the border without the consent of the Syrian regime, and leaders keep sending people to the border of Israel. They encouraged protesters to reach the border of Israel," Dr. Peter Wittig, Germany's permanent representative to the United Nations said.

"Syria was trying to trigger a flare-up at the border to divert attention from its internal problems. It was behind these provocations" Wittig added bluntly.

US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said, "the US is concerned by reports the Syrian government played a role in organizing the riots to divert attention from the killing of demonstrators in Syria."

Over 1,300 Syrians have been killed by Bashar Assad's regime since protests broke out in his country earlier this year.

Russia and China blocked Western moves to censure Syria during the meeting.