Patrick Worsnip and Joseph Logan
February 4, 2012
Russia and ChinaÂ vetoed on Saturday an Arab- and Western-backed resolution at the U.N. Security Council calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down over his bloody crackdown on a popular uprising.
The setback in diplomatic efforts to defuse the revolt peacefully came after world leaders and Syrian opposition activists accused Assad’s forces of killing hundreds of people in a bombardment of the city of Homs, the bloodiest night in 11 months of upheaval in the pivotal Arab country.
Shortly before the Security Council voted, U.S. President Barack Obama denounced the “unspeakable assault” on Homs, demanded that Assad leave power immediately and called for U.N. action against Assad’s “relentless brutality.”
“Yesterday the Syrian government murdered hundreds of Syrian citizens, including women and children, in Homs through shelling and other indiscriminate violence, and Syrian forces continue to prevent hundreds of injured civilians from seeking medical help,” Obama said in a statement. “Any government that brutalises and massacres its people does not deserve to govern.”