July 1st, 2012
10:15 PM ET

Clinton: World may not succeed in Syria

There is no guarantee that a sweeping new international agreement on Syria will succeed in ending the conflict there, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conceded, as opposition activists said the number of dead had skyrocketed in recent months.

"There is no guarantee that we are going to be successful. I just hate to say that," Clinton told CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty.

But she expressed optimism that a new agreement hammered out Saturday would help ease President Bashar al-Assad out of power.

The first plan backed by Russia and China as well as the West, it calls for a transitional government as a step towards ending the 16-month uprising.

Opposition activists immediately criticized the deal as leaving open the possibility that al-Assad would remain in power.

"The new agreement provides vague language which is open to interpretation," the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said in a statement Sunday. "This provides yet another opportunity for the regime's thugs to play their favorite game in utilizing time in order to stop the popular Syrian Revolution and extinguish it with violence and massacres across Syria."

A spokesman for the Syrian National Council, a main political opposition group, similarly slammed the agreement.

"We are afraid that the decision of the Geneva convention might give signs and gestures to the Syrian regime that it is acceptable and a legitimate cover to continue killing the people, and committing more massacres," Muhammad Farmini told CNN.

"This gives the regime a permit to continue killing and spilling more Syrian blood," he said.

But Clinton said al-Assad and his inner circle would be excluded from any transitional government.

Both sides have to agree on the membership of the interim body, and Clinton said there was "no way anyone in the opposition would ever consent to Assad or his inside regime cronies with blood on their hands being on any transitional governing body."

"Assad will not be part of it," she said in an interview late Saturday in Geneva, Switzerland, after the deal was hammered out.

Kofi Annan, the joint special envoy for the United Nations and Arab League, invited diplomats from the U.N. Security Council and envoys from Turkey, the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League to the global meeting in Geneva on Saturday.

Clinton said the Russians, who have long been al-Assad's most steadfast supporters, had finally decided to back a transition away from his rule.

"They have committed to trying," she said. "But they also admitted that they may or may not have enough leverage to convince not just one man, but a family and a regime that their time is over."

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. saeed

    someone needs to kill this women assassinate her its a easy thing to day one afghan soldier but 3 bullets through the head of 3 british soldiers just take a chainsaw to her head.

    July 2, 2012 at 7:26 am | Reply
    • saeedTheTowelHead

      Baaaaaaaah, Baaaaaaaaaaaaah, Baaaaaaaah, Daaaaaaaaaaaddy?

      July 2, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
    • cas

      someone needs to shoot you in the head

      July 2, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • Albert Fish

      I wouldn't shed a tear over this b!itch's demise.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
      • saeed

        today another australian soldier got shoot through the chest and this is a great thing 1 less european person walking the earth.

        July 3, 2012 at 5:27 am |
  2. rob

    No, those "opposition" activists, are considered terrorists under the Geneva conventions.

    Israel, along with the US and other countries they own, are attempting to bring Syria under a puppet government so they can attack Iran directly.

    We MUST reject this hasbara ridden information.

    July 1, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  3. fromthefourthcorner

    This situation is too far gone for diplomacy to work. Both sides are in it until the bitter end and the international community can either try to mitigate the impact of the fighting on civilians, or pick a side and back it, but what they can't do is talk their way to a peaceful resolution. Either way they should be aware of the potential ramifications of their actions not just for the people of Syria but for the region and world as a whole.

    July 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Reply

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