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Syria accuses US of waging 'diplomatic war'
Syria accuses US of waging 'diplomatic war' with sanctions and demand for Assad to resign
By The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ' Syria is accusing the U.S. of waging "a humanitarian and diplomatic war" against it by imposing sanctions and calling for President Bashar Assad to resign.

Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari told reporters Thursday the only aim of the U.S. "war" is to instigate further violence in the country by sending "the wrong message to the terrorist armed groups that they are under American and Western protection."

Ja'afari insisted that Syria has halted military and police operations. Activists on Thursday, however, reported shooting in the flashpoint city of Latakia.

Ja'afari accused the U.S. and European countries of ignoring Syrian reforms and using the Security Council "to settle their old accounts with our country."

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ' The U.N. human rights chief is asking the Security Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court for investigation of alleged atrocities against protesters during the five-month uprising.

Navi Pillay told reporters after briefing the council Thursday that she recommended the referral because a U.N. fact-finding commission reported that all its evidence supported a finding of "widespread and systematic violations" of human rights and crimes against humanity.

She said she didn't "hold out much hope" for a court referral.

But Germany said it would press for a council resolution imposing sanctions on Syria.

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, who also briefed the council, said the Syrian government has authorized a humanitarian team to visit the country and go anywhere.

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