According to media reports, Russia blocked an effort at the UN to condemn Syrian government air strikes on insurgents holed-up inside cities in the war-torn Middle Eastern country. Reuters reported that diplomats said that Russia suggested so many amendments to a UK-sponsored motion that the UK withdrew the proposal, finding it weakened to the point of an empty gesture. Russia strongly backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; it’s repeatedly blocked moves to condemn his régime in the continuing Syrian Civil War. AFP stated that the British proposal expressed “outrage” at Assad’s targeting of civilians in his forces’ bombardments of urban areas during the Battle of Aleppo, which is still in issue between rebels and government forces. The Syrian government enjoys total air supremacy over the opposition rebels. Apart from brief international unity over the decommissioning of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile brokered between the USA and Russia, the UN is in gridlock over how to respond to the Syrian crisis. Russia vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions condemning Syrian government actions since the civil war broke out in 2011. According to the UN, the present conflict caused over 100,000 deaths and displaced over a million people.
9 January 2014