Syria resolution faces tough UN test

Violence in Syria has escalated further
Violence in Syria has escalated further

By <a href="">Alex Stevenson</a>

An Anglo-French attempt to secure international pressure against the Syrian government could be thwarted by Russia later.

Britain and France have tabled a resolution criticising Syria's brutal suppression of pro-democracy protests, which have escalated in recent days.

As many as 200 people were reported killed over the weekend, while there are now reports of 1,000 dead overall and as many as 10,000 detailed.

The resolution drafted by the UK and France demands an immediate end to the violence.

It also "condemns systematic human rights abuses, calls on Syrian authorities to immediately lift the siege of affected towns and calls for steps to address the legitimate aspirations of Syrian people", Britain's ambassador to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant, said.

Syrian forces are believed to be massing outside the northern town of Jisr al-Shughur, where 120 security personnel were killed over the weekend.

Many of its inhabitants have fled across the nearby border with Turkey, which said it was not prepared to turn away those fleeing suppression.

"The violence being meted out to peaceful protestors and demonstrators is completely unacceptable," David Cameron told MPs at prime minister's questions yesterday.

"Of course, we must not stand silent in the face of those outrages, and we will not."

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has been added to the list of regime members subject to a travel ban and whose assets have been frozen by the EU.

But a global censure at the UN has not yet been achieved. A number of countries are thought to be concerned that the resolution paves the way for military action similar to that currently underway against Muammar Gaddafi's regime in Libya.

Russia is thought to be the country most likely to pose an obstacle to the resolution.

"If anyone votes against that resolution or tries to veto it, that should be on their conscience," Mr Cameron warned yesterday.


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