UK minister: Can't rule out intervention in Syria

AP News
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Posted: Jun 10, 2012 12:38 PM
UK minister: Can't rule out intervention in Syria

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Sunday that he couldn't rule out a military intervention in Syria, saying the situation there was beginning to resemble the violence that gripped Bosnia in the 1990s.

Hague told Sky News television that time was now "clearly running short" to implement international envoy Kofi Annan's ceasefire plan in Syria, and that Britain was already turning its eye toward what it would do if the plan failed.

Asked if his government had ruled out the use of force, Hague said Sunday that the country was "on the edge of collapse or of a sectarian civil war so I don't think we can rule anything out."

"It is looking more like Bosnia in the 1990s, being on the edge of a sectarian conflict in which neighboring villages are attacking and killing each other," he added.

The Bosnia conflict broke out in 1992, claiming tens of thousands of lives and embroiling the Balkans in years of vicious ethnic warfare. Eventually, ineffectual international action was followed by NATO air strikes, and a peace accord put an end to the fighting in 1995.

Hague told the broadcaster that Britain's preference remained for a diplomatic pressure "behind an actual plan of action for transition in Syria."

"Every other solution to the Syrian crisis involves a lot more death," he noted.