UN Tries to Threaten Syria With Sanctions
...but China, Russia veto resolution; Turkey vows to press ahead
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 5, 2011 7:30 AM CDT
In this citizen journalism image made on a mobile phone, anti-Syrian President Bashar Assad protesters hold up a banner.   (AP Photo/The Union of Homs City Neighborhood)

(Newser) – Russia and China yesterday vetoed a European-backed UN Security Council resolution that threatened sanctions against Syria if it didn't immediately halt its military crackdown against civilians. It would have been the first legally binding resolution adopted by the Security Council since President Bashar al-Assad's military began using tanks and soldiers against protesters in mid-March, and its defeat reflects the deep divisions in the UN's most powerful body over how to address the ongoing violence in Syria.

The European sponsors of the resolution tried to avoid a veto by watering down the language on sanctions three times, to the point where the word "sanctions" was taken out, but they failed. Russia's UN ambassador told the council after the vote that his country did not support the Assad regime or the violence, but opposed the resolution because it was "based on a philosophy of confrontation." Turkey's prime minister yesterday said Turkey and other countries will press ahead with plans to slap sanctions on Syria anyway.