Syria’s stoking Golan protests ‘unacceptable’: US

Israeli soldiers
© AFP Jack Guez


WASHINGTON (AFP) – The White House accused Syria on Monday of stoking protests in the Golan Heights as a “distraction” from its repression of anti-government protests and warned that “such behavior is unacceptable.”

“It seems apparent to us that that is an effort to distract attention from the legitimate expressions of protest by the Syrian people and from the harsh crackdown that the Syrian government has perpetrated against its own people,” said spokesman Jay Carney.

The United States is “strongly opposed to the Syrian government’s involvement in inciting yesterday’s protests in the Golan Heights,” Carney told reporters aboard President Barack Obama’s official Air Force One airplane.

“Such behavior is unacceptable and does not serve as a distraction from the Syrian government’s ongoing repression of demonstrators in its own country,” Carney said.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner echoed his remarks.

“We do think that this is an effort by the Syrian government to play a destabilizing role there. It’s clearly an effort by them to take focus off the situation that’s happening right now in Syria,” Toner told reporters.

“And it’s a cynical use of the Palestinian cause to encourage violence along its border as it continues to repress its own people within Syria,” he added.

Fourteen people were killed Sunday and hundreds injured in some of the bloodiest violence in years along Israel’s borders, and police fanned out across the occupied Golan Heights on Monday in search of refugees who crossed over from Syria during the unrest.

The violence occurred as Palestinians marked the anniversary of Israel’s founding in 1948, in an event known in Arabic as the “nakba” or “catastrophe.”

© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license

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