Troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have been raining tank fire, mortars and rockets on the rebel city of Homs since Saturday’s failed UN Security Council vote on Syria.
They don’t seem deterred by the expected arrival in Damascus tomorrow, Tuesday, of Russia’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov and spymaster Mikhail Fradkov. The two are donning the hats of troubleshooters.
The umbrella opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), for its part, posted a statement on its Facebook page declaring in Arabic:
“When Syrians and all other peoples aspiring for freedom and dignity expected the UNSC to pass an unambiguous resolution condemning the Syrian regime’s crimes, its atrocious killings of civilians and its mass slaughter of women, children and entire families, the world was appalled to see the governments of Russia and China wield a double-veto against the Euro-Arab sponsored draft.
“The SNC, which shared in weeklong Security Council deliberations (preceding the vote), strongly condemns the Moscow and Beijing governments’ blocking of the draft resolution. It holds the pair responsible for escalation (by the regime) of the carnage and killings. Their reckless act simply proffers a free license to kill.
“The SNC reiterates a nation-state does not protect its national interests by aligning itself with a murderous and corrupt clique, but by building partnerships rooted in shared interests. It thus urges both countries to quickly reconsider their positions and avoid obstructing the Syrian people’s quest for their freedoms and inalienable rights.
“Our people, who believe in godly triumph (over violence), have never relied on external sides. The world at large will see them persevere in their peaceful revolution, succeed in bringing down and removing the regime, close rank and stand as one behind the (Syrian) National Council and (Syrian) Free Army until they land on the shores of freedom and democracy.
“The Syrian people and the Arab and friendly peoples are invited to take all political, economic and diplomatic measures against the countries that killed the UNSC resolution, including economic boycott, ending of trade cooperation and reassessment of ties.
“The SNC shall keep up its political pursuits at all levels while lending full support to the revolution on the ground. It shall also seek an UN General Assembly resolution supporting our people’s rights. At the same time, it shall aim to create an international contact group made up of the countries supportive of the Syrian people’s struggle in order to help isolate the regime and build a free and democratic Syria.”