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Fri Apr 6, 2012, 04:28 PM

Syria: A Message from Ambassador Ford

On April 5, the United Nations Security Council unanimously issued a Presidential Statement supporting the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and League of Arab States Kofi Annanís six-point proposal. This proposal call for an immediate end to all violence and human rights violations, securing humanitarian access and facilitating a Syrian-led political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system, in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations, ethnicities or beliefs, including through commencing a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition. It also calls upon the Syrian government to remove its troops, including the Shabiha, and heavy weapons from their locations around cities no later than April 10, 2012. The Asad regime committed itself to this proposal on March 25, 2012.

The United States and the Friends of Syria are closely monitoring whether these required actions are occurring or not. We have seen media reports from the Asad regime that it has started to remove soldiers and equipment away from Syrian cities and civilian areas. We are providing some images to illustrate our conclusions at this point.

According to media reports and Syrian activists, on April 5 and April 6 Syrian forces used artillery against residential areas in Zabadani and Homs and Aazaz in Idlib (graphics 7 and 8), and there were arrest sweeps in other locations, including suburbs of Damascus. And we understand there has been a big increase in the numbers of Syrians seeking refuge in Turkey because of military operations in their neighborhoods. This is not the reduction in offensive Syrian government security operations that all agree must be the first step for the Annan initiative to succeed.

International journalists are unable to legally enter the country to independently verify such reports. If the Asad regime is keeping its promises based on the Annan proposal, it should allow international journalists to freely enter the country to verify. In their absence, U.S. and other governments have other means, including the satellites that took these images, of verifying the regime's compliance or lack thereof. The regime and the Syrian people should know that we are watching. The regime cannot hide the truth. We strongly urge the Asad regime to allow the UN compliance team, an effective and independent means of verification, to have full and unfettered access throughout Syria to investigate the regimeís compliance.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/us-embassy-damascus/a-message-from-ambassador-ford/10150655544736938%20#SYRIA


Graphic 4
In the case of Taftanaz (graphic 3), the Syrian government simply moved some armored vehicles out of Taftanaz to the nearby town of Zirdana (graphic 4).

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Response to tabatha (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 04:33 PM

1. Why is the State Dept. using 40 year old sat imagery? Google Earth has 10 times better resolution

This stuff is unreadable, unverifiable, and unreliable.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 07:06 PM

2. Nothing about the atrocities.

Just about the technology. Par for the course.

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Response to tabatha (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:09 AM

4. How are atrocities established by images that are too small to examine?

In this case, the choice of technology raises more questions than it answers.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 07:12 PM

3. I suspect that's what they're choosing to release to the public.

I do agree it would be better to have the higher quality stuff. There's a company that does it, Clooney used 'em.

(If you recall they blurred out Bin Laden's compound picture because it would have obviously revealed our satellite capability.)

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Response to tabatha (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:23 AM

5. Ford is an agenda-driven hypocrite, proven to have made similar false claims in the very recent past

 

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:52 PM

6. Such as?

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