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U.N. still has no plan for Syria

October 4th, 2012
06:22 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

As Turkey launched retaliatory air strikes against Syria for a second day on Thursday, thousands of demonstrators marched on
Istanbul shouting “no to war.”

On Wednesday, Assad forces in Syria shelled a Turkish border town, killing five civilians in their home.

In recent weeks the Turkish people have grown critical of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's support for the Syrian opposition – partially because of what detractors say are bad elements that come with the flood of refugees entering Turkey.

Turkey has said it has no interest in a full-scale war, though parliament held an emergency session and voted to authorize military action. Turkish troops are now taking up positions in Akçakale, the Turkish town that Syria shelled Wednesday.

Syria has apologized for the escalation, but still the world watches anxiously. 

Lakhdar Brahimi is the man charged with finding a solution to Syria’s civil war. He is a veteran Algerian diplomat, now serving as the U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria. His experience in peace-brokering has taken him all over the world - from Lebanon’s civil war to South Africa, Haiti and Afghanistan.

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Thursday, Brahimi said Syrian officials have asked him to convey to Turkey that the shelling was unintentional and they regret the loss of life.

Brahimi says the Turks expressed to him that these types of incidents have been escalating for some time, and that Turkey wants to be “absolutely certain” that they don’t happen.

Assad's lifelong friend: 'The crisis has changed him'

Brahimi signaled to Amanpour that the Syrian civil war has the potential to escalate into a broader regional conflict.

“I have been saying for a long time that you never can contain a problem within the borders of one country,” he said.

Indeed, the crisis has already spilled over Syria’s borders. There are now hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, in Iraq, Turkey and Jordan – in addition, Brahimi said 1.2 million people are displaced within Syria.

Blair on Syria: "A murderous set of steps against his own people"

Despite calling it a “mega problem,” he said the U.N. still does not have a plan to end the bloodshed.

“Very bluntly, no, I don’t have a plan. A plan does not exist,” Brahimi told Amanpour. “I could write a plan now, but a plan that is accepted by the parties inside Syria by what I call the countries and people who have interest – the situation is not ready for it”

Brahimi says they are waiting for the relevant parties to understand that no military solution currently exists. And with a deadlocked U.N. Security Council, an international accord seems far out of reach – Brahimi says he is still talking with Russia and China about a possible solution.

“The time to talk about reform has passed. People want change, real change, complete change,” Brahimi says.

He last spoke to Assad on September 15.

“In our region, they don’t trust us anymore,” he said of the Middle East. “People have been disappointed by us.”

“They want to be in charge of their destiny - their own affairs to be decided for themselves.”

Iraq and its role in Syria

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Robert S

    It is not a global threat! It is an Arab status quo threat at best. And quite frankly Scarlet I don't give a damn. Arab killing Arab – no problem.

    October 4, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Reply
    • hemo

      i think it's human problem assad should be down because he is killing a lot of people

      October 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  2. Basil

    Typical y generation response wait and do nothing.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  3. Oluwasegun

    We must be commited to a peaceful Middle East for therein lies world peace.No war without Egypt and no peace without Syria.

    October 8, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
  4. jdhartlv

    They had no problem supplying Libyan rebels with arms while the body count was small, with no thought of who's side they where on now we have a dead ambassador. But then again Syria dose not have the oil supply that Libya has, and the U.N. could care less about the body count.

    October 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  5. DumbMrrican

    All American media can do is to talk about war somewhere "else" in the world. like it's a piece of cake to go to a war.

    Get out from Afghanistan first, fggots!!

    November 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  6. Alex

    Meanwhile if Israel defends itself against the EXACT same thing Turkey is, a violation of it's territory and integrity by the shooting of missiles across the border, Erdogan calls Israel a "terrorist" country. I wonder if he can win a war against Syria without spilling any blood since he is so human.

    November 21, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Reply
    • ordugah

      Sympathy of Russians not needed, or regards, keep them for the Chechens and Georgia's affairs of yours.!
      Israel is recognized State by Turkey since 1949 and nothing major changed since then in this regard.

      November 25, 2012 at 12:09 am | Reply
  7. Anthony

    I hope we have no plan. It is not our country. It is not our war. It has ceased to be a threat to our interests and security. Let's stay out and let the Syrians deal with their own problems.

    November 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  8. alex

    Israel is a real problem in the Middle East, not Syria or Turkey...the root of most conflicts and imbalance in the region. I am glad Russians and Chinese are standing tall.

    November 24, 2012 at 12:00 am | Reply
    • ordugah

      ',,,,Russians and Chinese are standing tall", after stepping on THOUSANDS OF SYRIAN DEAD BODIES, Russians and Chenes ARE REALLY STANDING TALL, WITH BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS.

      November 25, 2012 at 12:00 am | Reply

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