UN officials acknowledge armed gangs' role in Syria unrest
Story Code : 167081
When he emerged -- he went a long way toward acknowledging that armed gangs are killing civilians and sowing chaos in Syria -- even if he says they're only recently engaged.
UN officials from Special Envoy Kofi Annan to Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous have acknowledged the deadly role that armed gangs are playing.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin made the point -- however -- that those armed gangs have been working to create problems in Syria since the beginning of the unrest.
US Ambassador Susan Rice made no concessions -- blaming Friday's Houla massacre on Syrian government forces.
She hinted at possible unilateral moves outside the Council.
Now Western delegates called for unity on the Security Council -- hinting that Russia and China should not stand in the way of stronger Council action on Syria.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin -- however -- scotched that -- saying that the unity is there -- but if member states continue providing guns and money to armed gangs in Syria -- progress is impossible.
The last man up was Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'Afari. He says that a Syrian government investigation is underway on last Friday's murders in Houla -- but he adds that the reasons for the killings there are crystal clear.
Ja'Afari added that the results of that investigation will be delivered in two days.
After Tuesday's expulsion of Syrian diplomats by the US -- Ja'Afari -- as UN delegate -- remains one of the only Syian officials in New York.
On that point -- Russian Ambassador Churkin said that steps should be taken by the US and the other nations that followed suit to ensure that the expulsions aren't misinterpreted.