Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Syria roundup (Zvi)

From Zvi:

* UN says protest deaths exceed 2200, including 350 since the start of Ramadan. I notice that the lady in the video was not complaining about people stocking Syrian products. Funny, that.

* 7 more civilians were killed in Syria today, including 3 women killed in raids in the al-Ghab region.

* US Ambassador Ford visited town of Jasem, apparently violating a regime ban on leaving the capital. Citizens gathered around and chanted slogans in support of international efforts [against the regime].

 * Switzerland withdrew its ambassador.

* EU introduced UNSC draft resolution calling for embargo on Syria and freezing assets of 24 top officials (but not the regime's financiers).

* China National Petroleum Corp.'s Great Wall Drilling Co. shut down 6 major projects in Syria, Libya, Niger and Algeria.

* South Korea banned citizens from traveling to Syria due to instability. Syria joins Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Iraq and Yemen on the short list.

* Syria creates the "Syria is fine" campaign: “With the participation of 250 academic, political, media, art and parliamentary figures from 18 countries in response to the invitation of an independent Syrian youth group, 'Syria is Fine' campaign started its activities on Sunday,”

* UNHRC approved a resolution calling for investigation of human rights violations by Syrian security forces.
- Voted against the resolution: China, Cuba, Ecuador, Russia. Russia claimed to have voted against it because - I'm not making this up - it ignored the positive steps taken by the Syrian regime, willingness for dialog, etc. China's excuses were its usual; since Tiananmen, China has always used the sovereignty argument to defend dictators. Cuba's excuse is a bunch of BS from a bygone era. Ecuador silently followed Cuba's lead.

- Abstained: Angola, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Djibouti, India, Malaysia, Mauritania, Philippines, and Uganda. India's excuse was pure hypocrisy, given its willingness to support UNHRC attacks on Israel.
- Voted in favor of the resolution: Austria, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, United States of America, and Uruguay.

* London-listed Gulfsands Petroleum pays a share of its Syrian production profits to Rami Makhlouf, pays more than $1 million to Ramak, the Makhlouf family holding company, and is 5.7% owned by an investment fund controlled by Rami Makhlouf. Boycotts or sanctions, anyone? No? I didn't think so. Now, if Makhlouf were Jewish, it would be a different story, wouldn't it... ?