Syria's powerful allies in Russia are vowing to block any Western attempts to intervene militarily in Syria as Damascus fights off an increasingly chaotic 10-month-old revolt against President Bashar Assad. The support came as Assad was showing fresh confidence that he can ride out the uprising with the help of a small—but influential—set of friends in Russia, China, and Iran. Russia and China, as UN Security Council members, can veto any resolution authorizing military intervention in Syria.
"If some intend to use force at all costs, we can hardly prevent that from happening," Russia's foreign minister told a news conference in Moscow. "But let them do it at their own initiative on their own conscience. They won't get any authorization from the UN Security Council." Analysts note that Russia has business and military interests in Syria that could be harmed by Western intervention. Syria's foreign ministry has warned the Arab League against sending troops in.