Will West intervene in Syria sans UN approval?

The Obama administration has criticised Russia`s continued backing for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad`s regime.

Updated: Jun 01, 2012, 11:17 AM IST

Washington: The Obama administration has raised the possibility of countries intervening in Syria without United Nations approval, and has criticised Russia`s continued backing for President Bashar al-Assad`s regime.

Western governments believe that diplomatic cover afforded by the Kremlin has emboldened Assad and encouraged him to resist pressure to negotiate a settlement of the conflict.

Susan Rice, the American ambassador to the UN, had earlier said that Russia`s veto-wielding membership of the Security Council would not necessarily prevent international action.

If the violence worsened and the peace plan proposed by Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary general, made no progress, some countries would consider whether to bypass Russian and Chinese opposition in the UN.

“Members of this Council and members of the international community are (then) left with the option only of having to consider whether they’re prepared to take actions outside of the Annan plan and the authority of this Council,” The Telegraph quoted Rice, as saying.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, during a speech in Denmark, urged Russia to use its influence on Assad to curb the fighting.

“The Syrians are not going to listen to us. They will listen - maybe - to the Russians, so we have to keep pushing them,” the paper quoted Hillary, as saying.

“Russian officials are telling me they don`t want to see a civil war. I have been telling them their policy is going help to contribute to a civil war,” she added.