Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution backing calls for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, despite international outrage today over a devastating bombardment of the city of Homs by his regime's forces. Activists said more than 200 were killed in the bloodiest episode of the nearly 11-month uprising. The other 13 council members, including the US, France, and Britain, voted in favor of the resolution aimed at stopping the ongoing violence in Syria.
"The Assad regime must come to an end," President Barack Obama said in a statement today before the vote. But Russia demanded further changes be made, saying the draft did not make enough demands on the armed opposition in Syria, and calls for Assad to step aside could wreck chances for a negotiated solution to the country's upheaval. In the end, the resolution's proponents pushed ahead with a vote, challenging Moscow to veto or back down. After the veto, US Ambassador Susan Rice said her country was "disgusted" by the vote. The UN says more than 5,400 people have been killed over almost 11 months in a Syrian government crackdown on civilian protests.