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Syrian officers 'should be named'

The names of officers leading government forces in violent crackdowns against civilians in Syria could be published so they know they may face justice if the Assad regime falls, Labour says.

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander also said members of the Arab League should impose trade sanctions against Syria.

But he warned against unilateral military action without the support of the United Nations, adding the "bar of legitimacy was raised by the long shadow of Iraq".

To increase pressure on President Bashar Assad's regime, officers leading the bloody crackdown in the city of Homs should be offered a safe haven in either Jordan or Turkey.

Speaking to Andrew Neil on the BBC, Mr Alexander said the measures would "sharpen the choice" of battlefield commanders leading attacks against civilians.

He said: "What I think is that we should sharpen the choice facing those military officers being directed to kill their own civilians by the Assad regime.

"How can you do that? Firstly, by providing them somewhere to go if they choose to leave the armed forces.

"Secondly, I think we should be publishing the names of officers who are shelling and murdering people in Homs at the moment, so that they are aware that if we see the fall of the Assad regime, they will be held responsible for the conduct that they are engaged in at the present time."

Currently, the EU has a list of senior officials within the Assad regime who face travel bans to Europe and freezes on their assets.

The proposals put forward would see the EU adding the names of military commanders on the ground in Syria to a new list.


From Belfast Telegraph