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Syria's deputy oil minister announces resignation

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by MziziMkavu, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    Mar 8, 2012
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    Syria's deputy oil minister has announced his resignation, saying he is joining the anti-government revolt.
    Abdo Hussameddin announced his defection in a video posted on YouTube.
    He is the highest ranking civilian to abandon President Bashar al-Assad since the uprising erupted a year ago.
    His announcement comes after the UN humanitarian chief said parts of Homs had been "devastated", following a visit to the city bombed by Syria's government troops.
    Valerie Amos said the bombed-out Baba Amr district felt like it had been closed down entirely.
    The government retook the district last week after fierce shelling.
    Activists say troops committed massacres since they entered. Damascus blames rebels for many deaths.
    Opposition groups said 39 people were killed throughout the country on Wednesday, of whom 26 were in Homs, six in Idlib, three in Deraa and two each in suburbs of Damascus and Aleppo.
    The UN says more than 7,500 people have died as a result of the violence in Syria over the past 12 months.
    International media organisations are heavily restricted in Syria, making it impossible to verify the claims of either side.
    'Joining revolution'[​IMG]

    One woman told the BBC's Paul Wood how two of her brothers were detained, and one was killed

    Mr Hussameddin, 58, posted his video on YouTube late on Wednesday.
    "I, Abdo Hussameddin, deputy oil and mineral wealth minister in Syria, announce my defection from the regime, resignation from my position and withdrawal from the Baath Party.
    "I am joining the revolution of the people who reject injustice and the brutal campaign of the regime."
    Mr Hussameddin - who has been deputy minister since August 2009 - added: "I tell the regime, which claims to own the country, you have nothing but the footprint of the tank driven by your barbarism to kill innocent people."
    An activist who shot the video and posted it on YouTube told the AFP news agency in Beirut that the opposition helped to arrange the resignation.
    The Syrian government has not publicly commented on Mr Hussameddin's announcement.
    US warningIn a separate development, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said that no options - including military action - had been ruled to end the violence in Syria.
    Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington on Wednesday, Mr Panetta said the legal basis for any such action must be clear and the limits of military force recognised.
    Senator John McCain, who is on the committee, has told the BBC's Today programme that the US should not forget its moral duty, if military action becomes necessary.
    "In my view it would require air power. It would require a coalition, not the United States going it alone. But, if we don't do this, when we can prevent a massacre from taking place, I think the United States will have abrogated its responsibilities."
    However, Mr Panetta stressed the US still preferred a diplomatic solution.
    Washington is currently trying to draft a new UN Security Council resolution demanding to try to end the violence.
    Russia and China have vetoed two previous resolutions, saying they were unbalanced and only demanded the government stop attacks
    The former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, is due to hold talks with Syrian government officials in Damascus on Saturday as joint special envoy for the UN and the Arab League

    [​IMG]Syrian activists say government troops have committed massacres in Homs


    Source. BBC News - Syria's deputy oil minister announces resignation