Clinton: Russia's inaction over Syria keeps Assad in power

Clinton: Russia's inaction over Syria keeps Assad in power

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia's inaction over the crisis in Syria is keeping President Bashar al-Assad in power, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said, according to RIA Novosti.

Russia's "refusal to join us in some kind of constructive action is keeping Assad in power, well-armed, able to ignore the demands of his own people, the region and the world," Clinton said at the U.S. Naval Academy on Tuesday, April 11

She said the U.S. would again try to persuade Russia to support UN action that would at least allow humanitarian aid when G8 foreign ministers meet in Washington on Wednesday.

Clinton also said the "likelihood of regional conflict and civil war is increasing" in Syria. Russia is the largest supplier of arms to Syria and has a naval base there.

Syrian opposition activists say more than 800 people have been killed since Assad accepted UN envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan late last month.

Clinton's comments came as Syrian security forces continued military operations despite an agreement to withdraw troops by Tuesday.

However, Annan said earlier on Tuesday his efforts to end the unrest were still "very much alive." "There is no more time to lose," Annan said. "We must all push for an end to the bloodshed before Syria plunges into the abyss."

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