Rice: UN Security Council ‘Utterly Failed’ Syria

Posted July 19th, 2012 at 8:05 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States says the United Nations Security Council has “utterly failed” after Russia and China vetoed a resolution threatening Syria with sanctions if it does not halt the violence.

Ambassador Susan Rice called the vetoes dangerous and deplorable. She said the Council's failure to act is a recipe for more violence, terrorism, and a war that could engulf the entire region.

The resolution would have extended the U.N. monitoring mission in Syria. It also threatened sanctions against the Assad government if it did not stop using heavy weapons against rebels and civilians within 10 days. Additionally, the measure demanded that Mr. Assad implement envoy Kofi Annan's plan for a peaceful political transition.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin says his government cannot accept any document that threatens sanctions and leaves the door open to military intervention.

Syrian rebels Thursday seized control of major border posts with Iraq and Turkey. Iraqi officials say the rebels killed at least 21 Syrian soldiers at the Iraqi border.

Ambassador Rice said the United States will work “with a diverse range of partners outside the Security Council” to pressure the Assad “regime” and bring aid to those in need in Syria.