BREAKING: France calls for UN-enforced ‘No Fly Zone’ over Syria

  • French Foreign Minister hopes Russia will agree to invoking UN’s Chap. 7
  • It allows the use of force to impose a peace plan on Assad’s brutal regime
  • Echoes UN peacekeeping chief’s comments that Syria now in ‘civil war’
  • Hilary Clinton had said she was worried Russia was sending helicopters
  • Russia replies by saying U.S. is supplying rebels with weapons

France has called for the United Nations to enforce envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan for Syria – in a move which could see force used against Assad’s regime.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he was hoping that Russia, a key ally of Syria, would agree to invoking the UN’s Chapter 7 to make it happen.

It allows the use of military force. The first stage could be to impose a No Fly Zone and allow humanitarian aid into the country.

But, as seen in other conflicts, could escalate to more drastic action if the regime doesn’t bend to international demands.

And echoing UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous’s comments yesterday, he said the Syrian conflict was now a ‘civil war’.

He said: ‘We propose making the implementation of the Annan plan compulsory.

‘We need to pass to the next speed at the Security Council and place the Annan plan under Chapter 7 – that is to say make it compulsory under pain of very heavy sanctions.’

France would propose toughening sanctions on Syria at the next meeting of EU foreign ministers, he added.

And the international community would prepare a list of second-ranking military officials who would be pursued by international justice, alongside President Bashar Assad and his immediate entourage.

He said: ‘They must understand that the only future is in resisting oppression. The time for taking a decision has arrived. They have to jump ship.’

Earlier today Syrian troops claimed to have won a bloody eight-day battle to regain control of a crucial rebel mountain-top hide-out – with the help of Russian attack helicopters.

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US, UK, France initiate Security Council motion for military intervention in Syria DEBKAfile June 13, 2012, 6:26 PM (GMT+02:00)

British Foreign Secretary William Hague is to meet urgently with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov Thursday for a last bid to gain Moscow’s cooperation in stopping the violence in Syria, or else the three allies will unilaterally impose a no-fly zone over the embattled country.