More Syrian Bloodshed as Outrage Grows Over UN Veto
The United States has vowed to redouble its efforts to solve the crisis in Syria, after Russia and China blocked action through the UN and a new wave of violence broke out in the central city of Homs.
On Saturday Russia and China blocked a UN Security Council resolution that would have backed an Arab plan urging Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to give up power.
The veto drew condemnation from world powers and Syrian opposition groups.
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton called the veto a “travesty” and vowed to renew efforts to impose new sanctions against the Syrian regime.
“We will work to seek regional and national sanctions against Syria and strengthen the ones we have,” she said, stressing the need “to dry up the sources of funding and the arms shipments that are keeping the regime’s war machine going.”
The growing outrage came amid reports of renewed fighting in Homs, with the restive Baba Amro neighbourhood targeted.
At least 56 people were killed in violence across Syria on Sunday, half of them civilians, rights group the Syrian Observatory said.
Government forces had launched an assault on the city just hours before the UN vote, leaving scores of people dead.
The opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) reported a “massacre” in Homs on Friday, saying more than 230 civilians were killed during the assault by regime forces.
The killings have prompted a wave of anger against Syria around the world - and sparked protests at Syrian embassies and missions in countries, including Australia.
Opposition groups in Syria say Russia and China have effectively handed the Syrian regime a “licence to kill” by refusing to support the UN resolution.
“The SNC holds Russia and China accountable for the escalation of killings and genocide, and considers this irresponsible step a licence for the Syrian regime to kill,” the SNC said in a statement.
Britain’s foreign minister William Hague said Moscow and Beijing had turned their backs on the Arab world, while France’s Alain Juppe said they “carried a terrible responsibility in the eyes of the world and Syrian people”.