Syria UN resolution vetoed by Russia, China; US says it does not support extending UN observer mission


Flags are raised outside the United Nations before the start of the UN General Assembly in New York.


Don Emmert

Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution Thursday that would have imposed new sanctions on war-torn Syria. The US responded by withdrawing support for the extension of a UN observer mission, Reuters reported.

"They are on the wrong side of the Syrian people, the wrong side of hope for peace and stability in the region," Reuters quoted White House spokesman Jay Carney as saying.

It was the third time that Russia and China have vetoed Security Council resolutions aimed at pressuring President Bashar al-Assad and other Syrian leaders to leave power, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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The latest resolution was drafted by Britain and co-sponsored by the US, France and Germany. It would have given the government 10 days to withdraw its troops and heavy weapons from populated areas or face sanctions, according to the Journal.

Russia and China, which have major trade deals with Syria, have said they want more balanced resolutions that call on all sides to halt the violence, CNN reported.

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But British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant accused them of putting "their national interests ahead of the lives of millions of Syrians."

He told CNN the countries are wrongly relying on al-Assad's "broken promises."

The vote came a day after anti-government rebels bombed a meeting of top Syrian security officials, killing three senior military figures with close ties to al-Assad, the Washington Post reported.

Meanwhile, government shelling of neighborhoods in Damascus continued Thursday.