Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan for Syria must be backed up by a Chapter 7 United Nations resolution which could lead to severe sanctions or even military action against the Assad regime, if the months of violence are not brought to an end, France's foreign minister Laurent Fabius has said.
Chapter 7 of the UN charter pertains to the body's peacekeeping powers, and any resolution would allow for Annan's plan to be enforced by the UN military or non-military actions. "We propose making the implementation of the Annan plan compulsory," Fabius told reporters. "We need to move up a gear at the Security Council and place the Annan plan under Chapter 7 – that is to say make it compulsory under pain of very heavy sanctions."
He added: "To stop this civil war from getting worse, we have to find a way for Assad to leave power and find a way for the opposition to create an alternative transition. But it's clear today ... that it is a civil war."
Several massacres are alleged to have taken place while the UN continues to disagree over the merits intervention, and a war of words has broken out between Russia and the United States over the supply of weapons to anti-government militias and the ruling Assad regime. Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has hit back at US comments that Russia was making the unrest worse by continuing arms shipments to the Syrian government, including deliveries of attack helicopters.
"We are not violating any international law in performing these contracts," Lavrov said during a visit to Tehran. "That contrasts with what the US is doing, which is providing arms to the Syrian opposition which are being used against the Syrian government."
While the US has denied providing weapons to Syrian rebels, the Free Syrian Army is said to have received arms shipments from Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, apparently coordinated by the US. The rival claims by the Russian and US regimes have raised fears that the conflict in Syria could develop into a proxy war if the violence is not brought to an end.This article was first published by PublicServiceEurope.com's sister site defencemanagement.com France: UN must enforce Syria plan