Wed February 1, 2012
Russia Says U.N. Draft Resolution On Syria Has 'No Chance' Of Adoption
The resolution in front of the United Nations Security Council that would call for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad will be vetoed by Russia.
Reuters reports that as the violence continued in Syria, Moscow's envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said the resolution had no chance of adoption unless it explicitly rejected a military intervention.
"[The draft] is missing the most important thing: a clear clause ruling out the possibility that the resolution could be used to justify military intervention in Syrian affairs from outside. For this reason I see no chance this draft could be adopted," Chizhov said, according to Reuters.
As Mark reported yesterday, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton threw her weight in favor of the Arab-League-backed resolution in a speech she gave at the U.N. yesterday. Clinton said that member nations had a choice, "stand with the people of Syria and the region or become complicit in the continuing violence there."
The U.N. estimates that at least 5,400 people have been killed since the uprising started in March. The Guardian, which is live blogging the events today, reports that the Syrian government has launched another bloody offensive against protesters and army defectors around Damascus.
The paper spoke to Emad Mahou, a Syrian activist, who said at least 18 people were killed by security forces in the Barada valley, not far from Damascus.
He described the scene like this:
"A huge, huge number [of troops] belonging to the Republican Guard were invading the valley of Barada, Wadi Barada, with tanks and they were bombing two cities, Basemah, and the second is Deir Qanoun....There are around 11 houses [which] fell down to the ground on the heads of their residents. After five or six hours there were negotiations between the army and the civilians there. They [the army] said get out and take your martyrs and wanted men from the ground. When they got out to take them they [the army] started to shoot them."