Syria through its state press accused the U.N. Security Council of double standards Wednesday, asking why the world body uses militarily enforceable resolutions when it is dealing with Syria, but not with Israel. The editorials in the state-run Tishrin newspaper and Al-Baath, the ruling Baath Party's daily, were devoted to Monday's Security Council resolution, which demanded that Syria cooperate fully with the U.N. investigation into the February assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
It also warned Syria of further measures if it holds anything back from the investigation.
The U.N. investigators gave the council an interim report last month that found Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services were complicit in Hariri's killing, and accused Syria of cooperating to a "limited degree" with their inquiry. Syria denied the charges.
The Tishrin editorial focused on the fact that Monday's resolution was passed under U.N. provisions that can be enforced by military action, which was not the case when the Security Council urged Israel and its Arab neighbors to accept the "land for peace" principle after the 1967 and 1973 wars.
"Why are the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council based on Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter when they are directed against Arab countries, but this is not used when they concern Israel?" Tishrin asked.
Tishrin said the council employed a "double-standard policy" on world issues.
"Why does nobody punish Israel for its crimes, terrorism and possession of weapons of mass destruction, while they want to punish the Arabs if they fight for their land and usurped rights?" Tishrin asked.
However, the editorial reiterated the government line that Syria would comply with the Security Council "no matter how unjust and prejudicial its resolutions are."
The Al-Baath editorial claimed Israel had played a role in Monday's resolution, which was co-sponsored by the United States, France and Britain, the AP says.
"Resolution 1636 was not the product of last week's (Security Council debate), and the months that followed Hariri's death on Feb. 14. It was planned by the decision-making circles in Washington, London and Tel Aviv, and it had been cooked on low heat since they thought of occupying Iraq," the editorial said.
Al-Baath urged Arab countries to demonstrate solidarity, saying this would be the only way to avert "the approaching fire from which nobody could be rescued."