June 6 - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warns Syria of widespread economic sanctions, possible use of force. Deborah Gembara reports.
This is what Syria looks like weeks after a UN brokered ceasefire according to new video posted a social media website. The Syrian army pounded the city of Azaz. In Washington, U.S. Secretary Timothy Geithner warned Syria that more than 55 countries are prepared to impose sanctions on Damascus if the violence doesn't stop/ SOUNDBITE: U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner saying: "We see no justification for allowing senior members of the Assad regime to have the benefit of accessing the global financial system." He also emphasized that the U.S. and western response could go beyond sanctions. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner saying: "The longer Assad's brutality persists, the greater the likelihood of further bloodshed and the greater the risk to a fragile region that is so important to the world. If necessary, Chapter 7 action in the U.N. Security Council as called on by the Arab League last weekend. Absent meaningful compliance by the regime with the Annan plan, that is the direction in which we are soon headed." Chapter 7 authorizes the use of force. In Damascus, President Bashar al Assad named a former agriculture minister as prime minister and tasked him forming a new government. What this means to the level of violence in Syria is still unclear. Opposition members have characterized the new prime minister as an Assad loyalist, saying the gesture by the Syrian leader was a hollow one intended to keep western forces at bay. Deborah Gembraa, Reuters