Sat, Dec 3, 2016 | updated 10:12 AM IST

US, UK consider tougher sanctions against Syria and allies

Updated: Oct 17, 2016 12:34 IST
London [ UK], Oct 17 (ANI): The US and Britain have said that they were considering fresh economic sanctions against the Syrian Government and its supporters in response to the continued bombardment of Aleppo.

However, the two nations failed to develop any consensus for tougher military options, including a no-bombing zone.

At the end of four hours of talks in London among the countries backing the Syrian opposition, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said there is a lack of political appetite among the western nations for going to war in Syria, reports the Guardian.

Johnson has been gathering support for a no-bombing zone but there is little support for the proposal either in the White House or Downing Street, largely due to fears that it would lead to a Russian counter-strike and a deeper conflagration.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the west will look again at intensifying economic sanctions. He, however, did not specify Russia as a target.

“We are considering additional sanctions and we are also making clear that President Obama has not taken any options off the table,” said Kerry.

Stating the west was looking at new proposals, Johnson said: “I would not pretend that in those proposals there is some magic solution for this appalling slaughter because the real answer lies with those who are perpetrating it, and that is the Assad regime and its puppeteers in the form of the Russians and the Iranians.”

He added: “No option is in principle off the table, but be in no doubt that these so-called military options are extremely difficult and there is, to put it mildly, a lack of political appetite in most European capitals and certainly in the west for that kind of solution at present. So we’ve got to work with the tools we have – the tools we have are diplomatic.”

“I think the most powerful weapon we have at the moment is our ability to make President Putin and the Russians feel the consequences of what they are doing.”

Johnson and Kerry confirmed that they were moving towards introducing fresh sanctions against “the Syrian regime and their supporters”.

After the meeting, Turkey revealed that it had proposed an internationally flagged convoy, as opposed to a UN convoy, to seek to break the siege of Aleppo.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, claimed at a press conference that an international convoy carrying the flags of many different countries would “have symbolic value and diminish the possibility of this convoy being attacked”. (ANI)