London: Chapter VII action needed in Syria

July 18, 2012 at 3:22 PM
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LONDON, July 18 (UPI) -- The Wednesday deaths of Syrian ministers in a suicide bombing in Damascus highlights the need for a Chapter VII resolution, the British government said.

The official Syrian Arab News Agency reported Wednesday that Defense Minister Daoud Rajiha, Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Asef Shawkat and Assistant Vice President Gen. Hassan Turkmani were killed Wednesday in a suicide bombing targeting the country's national security headquarters in Damascus.

"The terrorist blast happened while a meeting of a number of ministers and senior military and security officials was taking place, causing injuries among the attendees, some of them critical," SANA reported.

Conflict in Damascus entered its fourth consecutive day Wednesday. The International Committee of the Red Cross last weekend characterized the conflict in Syria as civil war.

A U.S. State Department official this week said the intensity of the conflict suggests the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad "is losing control" over the situation.

The United Nations estimates more than 10,000 people have been killed since fighting began in March 2011.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, in a statement, said the situation in Syria is deteriorating quickly.

"This incident, which we condemn, confirms the urgent need for a Chapter VII resolution of the U.N. Security Council on Syria," he said in a statement.

A Chapter VII resolution would authorize the use of force. Russia and China, two veto- wielding members, have opposed formal resolutions censuring the Syrian government.

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