Russia, China Veto UN Resolution Condemning Syria

Posted October 4th, 2011 at 6:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Russia and China have vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Syria's government and threatening it with sanctions if security forces there do not immediately halt their brutal military crackdown against civilian protesters.

France, Britain, Germany and Portugal drafted the resolution, which they revised three times in an attempt to avoid the vetoes. The watered-down measure received nine votes in favor and four abstentions in Tuesday's vote.

The proposal threatened “targeted measures” against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government if it fails to stop its deadly assault.

Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. State Department said Washington believes a strong Security Council resolution on Syria is “long overdue.” Russia had said it would not support the resolution because its wording was “unacceptable.”

Syrian activists said at least four people were killed Tuesday in northwestern Syria, in clashes between troops and military defectors who support the opposition.

The clashes follow days of military operations in the central town of Rastan, where activists say government forces arrested as many as 3,000 people as part of a crackdown on dissent. Syria's official SANA news agency puts the number of arrests “in the dozens.”

Syria has been using military force to crush almost seven months of opposition protests demanding an end to Mr. Assad's 11-year autocratic rule.

The United Nations says at least 2,700 people have been killed in the crackdown.