During a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly Monday, U.S. President Obama said that his outline to resolve the current conflict in Syria did not involve a “return to pre-civil war rule” implemented by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Although he specified that the United States would be willing to work with nations like Iran and Russia in order to achieve peace in the region, Obama’s plan clashed with that of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who insisted that Syria’s leader ought to be applauded for his efforts against ISIS militants, rather than condemned for his regime’s documented human rights abuses. While both leaders remained civil throughout the day’s events, the uncomfortable tension over their vastly different strategies was apparent.
[…] Putin’s plan, while diplomatic on paper, seemed to blatantly ignore the violence inflicted by the Assad regime, which the U.N. Security Council aggressively condemned in June this year. At the time, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, referencing the many documented chemical and barrel-bomb attacks perpetuated by Assad and his loyalists, said that Syrian civilians were experiencing “atrocities and human rights abuses” on a daily basis. Ban’s former aide, Valerie Amos, called for the council to enact a strict arms embargo in order to counter the continued bloodshed.
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