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U.N. Secretary General: 'We don't have a Plan B'

May 24th, 2012
06:16 PM ET

By Mick Krever

(CNN) – Despite U.N. monitors’ struggle to contain violence in Syria, the U.N. Secretary General told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Thursday that there was no fallback.

“At this time, we don’t have a Plan B,” Ban Ki-moon said.

The nearly 300 monitors deployed across five Syria cities are making “all possible efforts to stop violence” and have had “some dampening effect,” Ban said.

But, he conceded, “We were not able to completely cease the violence.”

Ban said that within the coming days, the full 300 observers authorized by the Security Council last month would be on the ground.

“They are patrolling every day, whenever possible,” he said. “They try their best to cease this violence. It requires strong political will at the level of President Assad, and also it requires full cooperation by the opposition forces.”

Ban said that “minimum 9,000” people had been killed in the conflict, which began more than a year ago. “I believe this number will have increased much more now,” he said.

Gross violations

An independent panel appointed by the U.N. reported Thursday that “gross violations continue unabated” in Syria.

The International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that torture and arbitrary arrest are rampant in the war-torn country, and that the conflict is becoming “increasingly militarized.”

“Those are totally unacceptable violations of human rights,” Ban said. “The perpetrators must be held accountable.”

A broadening crisis, in- and outside of Syria

When a massive car bomb exploded in the Syrian capital Damascus in May, Ban quickly blamed the attack on al Qaeda, saying that the organization “must be” behind it.

He distanced himself from those comments Thursday, saying, “We do not have any clear evidence what al Qaeda was behind.”

Nonetheless, “considering the scale and sophistication of the terrorist attacks,” he said, “it seems to be clear that there are certain organizations and groups with … clear political intent.”

Tensions in Syria’s neighbor, Lebanon, have also been high of late. Clashes erupted earlier this week following the killing of two religious clerics opposed to Bashar al-Assad’s rule in Syria.

“We are entering into a pivotal moment,” Ban said. “We are very much worried about this kind of spillover effect. … We have to prevent this.”

A council divided

When the U.N. Security Council voted last month to authorize a monitoring mission in Syria, it was a rare moment of unity.

“When Security Council is united, we can see much difference,” Ban said. “Unfortunately, Security Council at the beginning of this crisis was not united.”

This February and last October, Russia and China issued rare double vetoes of draft resolutions condemning the violence in Syria.

Ban said that those countries are now “in full support” of the monitoring mission. But they remain wary of authorizing further intervention, saying the current process should be allowed to play out.

Ban urged the Security Council, and the international community at large, to be united in its response to Syria.

“It’s very sad. Civilian people have suffered too long,” he said. “This atrocity must be stopped at any cost.”

CNN’s Juliet Fuisz produced this piece for television.

Filed under:  Christiane's Brief
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. rk

    What made u say u dont have plan B, you have, but you are ignoring.
    If there is a PROBLEM there is a ANSWER. Problems are mean't to find answers and that is life.

    May 24, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  2. rk

    What made u say u dont have plan B, you have to find answers...?????
    If there is a PROBLEM there is a ANSWER. Problems are mean't to find answers and that is life.

    May 24, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  3. Eric

    we would be fools to intervene. If Assad falls then the islamic terrorists take over. I know it sounds heartless but I would rather have a Syria that slaughters its own ppl the a Syria that trains terrorists to come over here and slaughter our ppl. Egypt, libya, ivory coast... all now falling to islamic extremists...

    May 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  4. JonabBC

    No Plan B... No Kidding...

    May 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  5. Marcel

    Plan B? Why should there be a plan B? The mission is clear: The Assad regime will disappear. And that's just perfect for Syria, the Middle East and the entire world.

    May 24, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Reply
    • daren

      Dream on boy.. Assad is winning and your Wahabbies running scared

      May 25, 2012 at 4:36 am | Reply
  6. 28mAmerican

    Ban, I really respect you for trying. I personally wouldn't invest in it. I think it is a lost cause where there is no innocent side both want to slaughter the other side. Both are violent to the point Neither side is (imho) worth risking lives to help. It is just their culture, the same way as there are differences between china and the us, their culture is different then both of us.

    You are most likely going to fail in every way with your mission to generate peace there. Interference will only stop the slaughter prematurely and a day later , or a year later, they will start right back up. You can't force people to stop being violent when that is not only the culture there but it is how they resolve issues.

    Plan B is to let them have the civil war, you should be focusing your energy on devising a way to halt out side fighters from going there. To stop arms sales. Then when it is just syrians fighting they can have a fair civil war. One side will slaughter the other and then peace (the muslim version of it) will ensue. The key to it working is to stop out side interference. At some point we just have to accept that they will not tolerate any form of peace until one side is beaten into the ground.

    It sounds archaic but if you want it to stop that is what it will take. This is your plan B. When people realize plan B is to sit back , lock down their borders and let them slaughter each other you shift responsibility for what happens from the outside world to the people there doing the slaughtering. They wont keep slaughtering their children to get out side help because it will be clear they either fight their fight , or chose not to get wiped out.

    May 25, 2012 at 12:58 am | Reply
    • 28mAmerican

      What they are doing is effectively trying to fight a civil war on credit. They slaughter their own children then go walking shaking the bodies infront of cameras hoping to get the world to fight their civil war. If a civil war is meant to be won then there are enough people fighting it to win. Simply put they cant win. That is why there are hordes of bombings that no one takes credit for. They are manipulating the world to fight their fight. Fighting a war on credit.

      By making it clear no one is going to step in and fight their war for them they have a choice. Get slaughtered or submit to the majority. And dont tell me the majority is the "rebels" if that was true it would be over by now.

      May 25, 2012 at 1:12 am | Reply
      • Bas

        It's unbelievable that the world contains such hating and prejudice people as you.

        May 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
      • Summer

        As my friend, the late, great Israel Shahak, to use to say and write quite often, “history is imntroapt.” It’s a shame when people don’t pay attention to it. After all you just posted (or, failed to post) you would say this? First of all, none of this process that you decry about neocons in every nook and cranny of the executive branch would have happened if this was not the process on the hill. This government is opened to moneyed interest, that is it and these mechanisms you are talking about have gone on for centuries. Second, you say nothing in regard to Lebanon has taken place against it as an imperial target until involvement with Israel. You totally pass over the 1958 Civil War (which was incited in foundation by Western exploitation through developing divisions, factions), where we lodged troops. Not to mention the fact that we are partners with those who tore Lebanon apart in the first place (which has always been our way of acting, look at Haiti and how we not only did not recognize them after their liberation but took sides with their oppressors and have become their oppressors to this day). You praise the ex-CIA director ass that bought death and destruction on his watch to the poor and helpless, as if this idiot is some damn hero what a gloss.You constantly say the US is kicking and screaming into these activities, dismiss all previous history of US activity, fail to see the connection with the macro-economic whole. History in the region is not how you portray it, current activity by this government and US history is not how you write it, and you attempt to show the US as apart from this recent activity falls flat. Your starting accusation (defending Israel) is wrong, and it is the only crutch you can hobble away on. Finish it off, and declare victory when there is none in sight.

        July 9, 2012 at 12:54 am |
  7. Akmed

    How about Plan C???

    May 25, 2012 at 1:11 am | Reply
  8. Holland1990

    U. S and its allies in the Middle East have Plan B
    Turkish army could Liberation Syria in 3 days .

    May 25, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
    • daren

      Filthy israeli talking

      May 25, 2012 at 4:35 am | Reply
  9. abdulrazak

    this is US and Uk plan to protect Israel and make Iran week. US is the biggest terrerris country in the world , world should boycot them, theri money and products. then only the country will understand. Mainly US Jews, makeing problems, US other populaiton is good people. UK, france and South Korea and Saudi Arabia is supporting any movement from the US blindly. because their leaders are having personal problem

    May 25, 2012 at 1:37 am | Reply
    • AK

      Quick question regarding your "boycott US products" part – What is the brand of the computer that you are using to write what you wrote?

      May 25, 2012 at 5:46 am | Reply
    • Tariq

      Missed the show but reviews I have read on CNN and in the New York Times reeval that Perry went after Romney and everybody pounced on Mr. 9-9-9! Any one watch?

      July 7, 2012 at 5:05 am | Reply
  10. Adam

    Don't you think,folks, that nothing works so far in Syria??!!! Why the US and other European countries don't want to understand that such regime in Syria doesn't understand but the language of killing and massacring.When they think it's high time to root out this rotten regime thus let the people there breathe the freedom due the American style!

    May 25, 2012 at 2:18 am | Reply
    • Holland1990

      agreed .

      May 25, 2012 at 3:10 am | Reply
  11. SJ

    Something different from the topic above I hope that Christiane will read this . Just a questions , I follow you up since you came to CNN you impress me with your transparency ,sometimes you are bit politicaly correct but I do Understand that. Would like to pin point you to this story which is always hidden and with a purpose ignored , and no one make a comprehensive story and report on at .The story is about the acceptance of Republic of Macedonia in the NATO ,I hope that you are aware of the ruling of te Dutch court about the name .The Nato doesent like to accept Macedonia with the name as it is , because of the pressure of the Greek government which is unacceptable in this modern political spectrum and circles . What I would like you to do is , if possible make one of the shows a segment about this with a good research , and I f you need help I am willing to assist you .you can contact me via twitter or on my direct email My name is Mr.Sasha Jordan , but please respect this tweet with a kind and humble respect , I am bit dissapointed how people are trited in the world because of their status .Any intelegent human being should be given as much respect as everyone else ( PM, President ,CEO etc.....)
    My Kind and sincere regards to you , and I hope that you will respond to me .

    May 25, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
  12. Poi

    The regime in Syria can't kill us all, we will win this war soon, we didn't want to fight, we want it peaceful but how can you face bullets with bare chest. We will rule this country with the best morals ever, the morals of Islam. When all of this is done we will work with our allies all over the world to assist everybody to get rid of the poor morality and bad ethics which is widespread in the -so called- modern world , our mission will be transferring our success to the rest of people who deserve to live better.
    Assist us today to be able to assist you tomorrow. It is not about majority or minority, it is about right and wrong.

    May 26, 2012 at 6:25 am | Reply
    • Mohamed

      Reviadsion (with paraadgraphs) 4.25.10Assad will crush AhmadineadjadThe good news is that Syradian Presadiaddent Bashar Assad’s proadposal to transadfer Scud misadsiles to Hezboladlah creadates an opporadtuadnity for the US to preadvail over today’s Nazis in the Midaddle East. Today’s Nazis conadsist of Iran and Geradmany. Iran wants to open a strateadgic coradriaddor that would entexd from Geradmany to Croaadtia, Turkey, through Iran to Pakistan. This strateadgic coradriaddor would peradmit Iran to move nuclear techadnoladogy to Geradmany as well as Islamic and fasadcist teradroradists from hot spots in the Balkans and the Cauadcaadsus to the world’s most sophisadtiadcated trainading camps in Pakadistan. Iran’s goal for assistading Geradmany develadopadment of nuclear weapons is to break Geradmany away from its close ties with the US since WW II. With the develadopadment of an indeadpenaddent nuclear deteradrent, and as Obama leads the US into isoadlaadtionadism, Geradmany could comadpel the Westadern Euroadpean states to acknowladedge the faladsity of the Holoadcaust and admit that the vicadtors of WW II conadcocted the myth of the Holoadcaust as a means to steal Geradman teradriadtory and comadpenadsaadtion for war crimes.Assad’s deciadsion to transadfer Scud misadsiles to Hezboladlah will embolden and strengthen the anti-Nazi and anti-Iran front of the Arab states, who are backadstopped by the US, Rusadsia, France and the while Assad will demoradaladize the Midaddle East[s pro– Nazi axis that conadsists of Iran and Iran’s Kuraddish allies.In realadity, Assad has already crushed Ahmadineadjad. Throughadout the past week, Assad and his iniadtiaadtive have domadiadnated the news reports from the Midaddle East. Assad has already uniadfied the Arabs behind his leadaderadship, as eviaddenced by reports that seriadous negoadtiadaadtions are underadway between Syria, Egypt and Saudi about conadvenading an Arab Sumadmit, while Iran — the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic world, is bypassed. Meanadwhile, Rusadsia is boostading Assad. Ten days ago a Russadian nuclear powadered cruiser made a port call to Syria, while bypassading Iran. Needadless to say, Ahmadineadjad was not amused, nor was he amused by Russia’s delivaderadies last week of a large numadber of advanced weapons to Syria, while Rusadsia ignored Iran.Where was Iran’s Nazi presadiaddent Ahmadineadjad as Assad rose to promiadnence as the true leader of the Islamic world, Instead of defendading Iran’s interadests by proadmotading diploadmatic iniadtiaadtives of his own, Ahmadineadjad avoided the media altoadgether by takading refuge in Zimadbabwe! As a result of Ahmadinejad’s pasadsivadity, he has lost more interadnaadtional supadport. Even Hamas — which until now had been pro-Iran — has refrained from callading for a larger Iranadian role in Presadiaddent Assad’s Scuds initiative.The first signs of Ahmadinejad’s politadiadcal decline emerged durading Lebanon’s last criadsis in Decemadber 2009. At that time, Ahmadineadjad called for a uniadfied Arab miladiadtary front under his peradsonal comadmand to conadfront Israel. In fact, not a sinadgle Arab state responded to Ahmadinejad’s call for war with Israel,. Even Hizboladlah stayed on the sideadlines. Only Hamas took miladiadtary action against Israel, on the basis of Iranadian secuadrity guaradanadtees, which proved worthadless when Israel took reprisals against Hamas and Iran offered no defense support.In fact, Ahmadineadjad erred badly by underadesadtiadmatading Syradian and Russadian anxadiadety over Iran’s moves against Iraq and the Arabs. Ahmadineadjad also underadesadtiadmated the deep nature of the Syrian-Russian partadneradship on missile-related issues; for examadple, Syria offered Rusadsia misadsile bases on its teradriadtory to comadpenadsate for the deciadsion made by the Czech Repubadlic and Poland to put U.S. anti-missile faciladiadties on their teradriadtory. Finally, Ahmadineadjad also underadesadtiadmated Syradian and Russadian conadcerns about his outadreach to Hugo Chavez and other Nazis on the issue of holocaust-denial. Ahmadineadjad did not foreadsee the rise of Assad as the chief power broadker for the Midaddle East, which will have a sigadnifadiadcant impact on politadiadcal develadopadments in Iraq. In brief, Ahmadineadjad has given an enoradmous boost to the rise of Assad whose ascent will be good news for his Iraqi pro-Arab allies, such as Muqadtada al Sadr, and will be bad news for pro-Iran leadaders and facadtions such as the Badr Brigade, SCIRI, the Kurds, and pro-Iran politiadcians like Nouri al Maliki.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:14 am | Reply
  13. Ash

    Poi the arabs ve diverted from the main priority of investing their energy time and resources on technological research

    May 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • Alba

      Does Charlie Rose believe Iran does not apccet Israel's right to exist? Iran gave a number of signals over the years it will apccet Israel within its pre-1967 borders if the Palestinians apccet that result. And Iran wants Israel to end the occupation of the Golan Heights – a position the US should support.

      July 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  14. Ash

    And building a stronger economies in their respective states. Rather choiced 2 pursue a religious agenda of islamizatn

    May 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  15. Abida

    Christian Amanpour, I definitely defer with you on your ‘Brief’ programme held on 30/5/2012 on ‘Obama Secret war’. Obama’s drones srikes in Pakistan, Yemni, Aghfanistan and Somalia are justified. Those who carried the sword must die by the sword. America as a nation has sacrificed too much of their blood for World peace, fighting against irrational men killing in the guise of religion. All is fair in war.
    I assume you were partial in your ‘Brief’. The two discussants you invited were all Republicans.
    You should have given President Obama right of defence by at least inviting a Democrat to defend the policies of the U.S. Government

    May 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
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