February 04, 2012

UN Security Council To Vote On Syria, As Bloodshed Intensifies

Posted Saturday, February 4th, 2012 at 10:00 am
The United Nations Security Council begins a meeting Saturday on a resolution on the violence in Syria as the bloodshed intensified in the flashpoint city of Homs leaving more than 200 people dead.
Human rights activists say Syrian security forces launched a barrage of mortars and artillery on the Khalidiya neighborhood of Homs, where there is strong anti-government sentiment. The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights says hundreds more people have been wounded and some buildings have been destroyed in a surge of violence that began on Friday.
The violence comes as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned there will be “scandal” if a Western-backed resolution on the violence in Syria is put to a vote in New York Saturday.
Lavrov met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Munich Germany on Saturday. Reuters reports that U.S. officials say the two agreed on the urgency of the situation in Syria, but declined to say if they made progress.
Russian news agencies are reporting that Lavrov and Russian foreign intelligence service chief Mikhail Fradkov will travel to Syria on Tuesday to meet with President Bashar al-Assad.
Meanwhile, Syrian security forces opened fired on a funeral procession Saturday, killing at least seven people in the Damascus suburb of Daraya.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe called the escalating violence in Syria a “crime against humanity. He also lashed out against Russia's stance on the Syrian resolution, saying those who block it are taking “grave historical responsibility.”
Both Russia and China have opposed Western-backed draft resolutions on Syria.
Lavrov says Russia wants two amendments to the resolution. He said the measure should treat anti- and pro-government forces more equally rather than appear to be taking sides in a civil war. And he said the resolution should close the door on any possibility of foreign intervention in the conflict.
Tunisia took a stand against the intensifying violence in Syria on Saturday. President President Moncef Marzouki said in a statement on his Facebook page on Saturday that Tunisia has begun the process of withdrawing its ambassador to Syria and its recognition of Mr. Assad's government.

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