Monday, June 3, 2013

The World Should Remember


Russia has blocked a draft United Nations Security Council declaration on the situation in the besieged Syrian town of Qusayr, diplomats said on Sunday.
The text, proposed by Britain on Saturday, expressed the council's "grave concern" about the fate of civilians trapped in the strategically important town in central Homs province, where regime forces backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group began an assault two weeks ago.
It called "upon the Syrian government to allow immediate, full and unimpeded access to impartial humanitarian actors, including UN agencies" to reach civilians.
The 15 members of the council also "strongly call upon all sides to do their utmost to avoid civilian casualties and for the Syrian government to exercise its responsibility to protect civilians," it said.
Russia, a key ally of Syria, demanded a "wider political discussion" on the proposal, according to one UN diplomat. "I think the text is dead," said another diplomat, adding that Moscow indicated the Security Council did not protest when the rebels seized Qusayr, and that therefore there was no reason to do so now.