US, Bri­tain threaten sanc­tions over Aleppo

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE United States and Bri­tain have warned that Western al­lies were con­sid­er­ing im­pos­ing sanc­tions against eco­nomic tar­gets in Syria and Rus­sia over the siege of Aleppo.

US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry branded the bom­bard­ment of civil­ians in the Syr­ian bat­tle­ground city as “crimes against hu­man­ity” and Bri­tish For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son urged Moscow to show mercy.

“There are a lot of mea­sures that we’re propos­ing in­clud­ing ex­tra mea­sures on the regime and their sup­port­ers,” Mr John­son said, stand­ing along­side Mr Kerry af­ter talks in Lon­don on Oc­to­ber 16.

“Th­ese things will even­tu­ally come to bite the per­pe­tra­tors of th­ese crimes and they should think about it now,” he said.

Mr Kerry warned that US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama had not taken any op­tion off the ta­ble in terms of tack­ling Syr­ian strong­man Bashar al-As­sad’s as­sault on his own peo­ple.

He too raised the idea of sanc­tions but played down the pos­si­bil­ity of mil­i­tary ac­tion and in­sisted that it was his and Mr John­son’s duty to “ex­haust” all diplo­matic op­tions.

“We are dis­cussing ev­ery mech­a­nism avail­able but I haven’t seen a big ap­petite from any­one in Europe to go to war,” Mr Kerry said af­ter talks with French and Ger­man of­fi­cials.

“I don’t see the par­lia­ments of Euro­pean coun­tries ready to de­clare war,” he said.

“Let me make it clear,” added Mr Kerry. “We are con­sid­er­ing ad­di­tional sanc­tions and Pres­i­dent Obama has not taken any op­tion off the ta­ble.”

French For­eign Min­is­ter Jean-Marc Ayrault said stop­ping the bom­bard­ment of Aleppo took prece­dence dur­ing the talks.

“We see that the regime along with Rus­sian sup­port has other ob­jec­tives,” he said.

“We are al­ways ready to speak with the Rus­sians and with the Ira­ni­ans but we de­mand that the pre­con­di­tion is stop­ping the bom­bard­ment.”

Mr Ayrault did not con­firm whether a no-fly zone over Aleppo was on the ta­ble.

“We have tack­led many ini­tia­tives. We have not fi­nalised ev­ery­thing but there is broad con­sen­sus on the ne­ces­sity for pres­sure [to stop the bom­bard­ments],” he said. –

Photo: AFP

Bri­tish For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son (left) and US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry give a joint press con­fer­ence af­ter a meet­ing on the sit­u­a­tion in Syria at Lan­caster House in Lon­don on Oc­to­ber 16.

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