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Can the Security Council Crack Down on Assad?

By January 31, 2012

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putinprotestAs I write this, the UN Security Council is making statements about the situation in Syria in the face of a draft resolution put forth by the Arab League, which demands that President Bashar al-Assad step down within 15 days or face further measures. The plan was backed by the U.S. and the UK, but faces a hurdle from veto-wielding member Russia. More:

A senior Russian diplomat Tuesday said a draft U.N. resolution demanding Syrian President Bashar Assad step aside is a "path to civil war," as Syrian troops besieged rebellious areas with hours of shelling and machine-gun fire.

..."The Western draft Security Council resolution on Syria does not lead to a search for compromise," Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov wrote Tuesday on Twitter. "Pushing this resolution is a path to civil war."

Russia has been one of Assad's strongest backers as he tries to quell an uprising that began nearly 11 months ago. In October, Moscow vetoed the first Security Council attempt to condemn Syria's crackdown and has shown little sign of budging in its opposition.

Meanwhile, reports from Syria show the death tolls rising and the violence showing no signs of abating. Log on to the Local Coordination Committees site throughout the day for updates from the Syrian opposition.

MORE: What the world is saying about the Syrian uprising

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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