U.N. Security Council could vote Saturday on response to Syria

U.N. Security Council could vote Saturday on response to Syria

Almost eleven months after protesters first flooded Syrian streets to demand regime change and true democratic freedoms, the U.N. Security Council could vote Saturday on a draft resolution that would pressure the government to stop a sustained, bloody crackdown on dissidents CNN reported

But in the hours leading up to Saturday morning's meeting in New York, reports of carnage at the hands of the Syrian regime continued unabated.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition activist group, said early Saturday that 217 people, including women and children, had been killed in the beleaguered city of Homs over the past day.

"The U.N. isn't doing anything about it. The Arab League isn't doing anything about it ... While they're having their little discussion, people are sitting here and they're dying," said an activist identified as Danny.

He said the assault on Homs started after a few dozen members of the Syrian army defected and fled to a part of the city.

"The civilians went down to welcome the (defectors) to thank them for their bravery," he said. "When the army found out, it started randomly bombarding with tank shells, mortar bombs. It's like they're killing animals."

Homs resident Abu Abdo Alhomsy described the scene as a "massacre," with continuous bombing and the presence of snipers.

"There are so many people on the streets that are wounded and they need help, but we can't reach them to help them," he said. They're ready to kills us all. They have no problem with doing that. Please, we call (on) the international community for help," Alhomsy said.

But Syrian state-run TV denied reports that the army shelled neighborhoods in Homs.

"This is a media campaign that uses fabrication, falsehood and escalation ... in order to affect a decision at the Security Council and cover crimes and attacks committed by armed terrorist groups," it said.

And the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency once again blamed "armed terrorist groups" for the violence in the country.

'The ongoing distortion, falsification and instigation media campaigns by some satellite channels are but to cover the crimes and aggressions of the armed terrorist groups in Syria," SANA reported, citing an unnamed source.

CNN cannot independently confirm opposition or government reports from Syria because the regime has restricted access of journalists to the country.

But the unrest has spread far beyond Syria.

Protests broke out at Syrian embassies in Cairo, Berlin, Washington, London Friday and Saturday.

Egyptian police arrested 12 Syrians accused of setting the first floor of the Syrian embassy in Cairo on fire, according to Egyptian police Maj. Karim El-Fouli.

In Berlin, 31 people were detained and later released after breaking through the locked doors of the Syrian embassy there, officials said.

Some of the few dozen protesters outside the Syrian embassy in Washington chanted, "shame, shame, shame on you."

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch said in a report Friday that Syrian army and security officers detained and tortured children with impunity during the past year. The group said it has documented at least 12 cases of children detained under inhumane conditions and tortured, as well as children shot while in their homes or on the street.

Human Rights Watch urged the Security Council "to demand that the Syrian government end all human rights violations."

The Security Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET Saturday. It was not clear which way Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council that has opposed previous draft resolutions on Syria, would vote.

A Security Council meeting on Syria ended Thursday evening without agreement on the text of the draft, according to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice.

The draft of the resolution discussed Thursday had dropped demands from an Arab League plan for Syria to form a unity government and for President Bashar al-Assad to delegate power to his deputy.

"We had what I would characterize as sometimes difficult but ultimately useful discussions," Rice said. "We're still working. This is not done."

She said the Moroccans, who submitted the original draft, would come back with another version that could be voted on.

Before the talks, Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby said that even a watered-down resolution would pressure the Syrian government.

U.N. diplomats said the changes reflected a big concession to Russia, which has been reluctant to sign on to any plan that could be seen as a mandate for regime change in Damascus, as occurred in Libya after it signed a resolution calling for a no-fly zone.

Russia, which counts Syria as a major weapons client, has said it is concerned about the prospect of a Syrian civil war and does not want al-Assad pushed from power. It has made clear that it will not accept an arms embargo or economic sanctions.

A call for other nations to follow the Arab League members in adopting measures such as sanctions against Syria had also been dropped from the latest version of the draft resolution, which demands the Syrian government allow the delivery of humanitarian aid and guarantee the freedom of peaceful demonstrations. It also calls for an "inclusive Syrian-led political process."

U.S. and European diplomats insisted that the revised text still fully endorsed the Arab League plan and that it did not need to spell out every detail to have the same meaning.

"It will still put pressure on the Syrian government, because they realize that Russia cannot stand up forever. And they are under great pressure now. And, you know, Russia does not want to be against the people," Elaraby said.

In October, Russia and China issued a rare double-veto of a resolution that lacked sanctions but would have condemned the violence in Syria.

At least 7,100 people, including 461 children, have died since the start of the Syrian uprising in March, according to the Local Coordination Committees, a network of opposition activists that documents protests.

The United Nations estimated in December that more than 5,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict since March but has not been able to update that figure because of the situation on the ground.

Azerbaijan's Central Bank unveils data on foreign exchange transactions over March 2021
Azerbaijan's Central Bank unveils data on foreign exchange transactions over March 2021
Azerbaijan’s Azerenergy company names winner of tenders for maintenance of IT equipment
Azerbaijan’s Azerenergy company names winner of tenders for maintenance of IT equipment
Number of Azerbaijani insurance companies entitled to operate within Green Card system increase
Number of Azerbaijani insurance companies entitled to operate within Green Card system increase
Loading Bars
Latest
Azerbaijan's Central Bank unveils data on foreign exchange transactions over March 2021
Azerbaijan's CBC radio starts broadcasting in Karabakh
Iran's Khorasan Razavi Province to increase trade with Turkmenistan
First VP of Azerbaijan shares Instagram post about Shusha (VIDEO)
Iran to import Coronavirus vaccine - President Rouhani
Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan implementing road and railroad construction projects
Competitions in Baku always held at highest level - Slovenian gymnast
Azerbaijani Defense Ministry discloses events to be held on occasion of Victory Day - May 9
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange revealed
Iran Khodro Diesel Company boots its production
Azerbaijan’s Baku city always warmly welcoming - Ukrainian gymnast
Uzbekistan's international reserves grow
Sri Lanka approves Pfizer COVID vaccine for emergency use
Turkmenistan signs decree on pardon for Qadr Night
Uzbekistan Railways plans to resume railway communication with Russia and Kazakhstan
Iran's IMIDRO begins study of public and comparative discovery in Albalaq mine
Azerbaijan’s Azerenergy company names winner of tenders for maintenance of IT equipment
Number of Azerbaijani insurance companies entitled to operate within Green Card system increase
Kazakhstan’s Intergas Central Asia company opens tender to attract services
Baku Stock Exchange unveils 4M2021 transactions on corporate securities
Azerbaijan expanding cooperation with Czech Republic in nanotechnologies
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for May 8
Uzbekistan suspends flights to Turkey and India
Scientific conferences, organized by Baku Higher Oil School on occasion of 98th anniversary of National Leader Heydar Aliyev, are coming to an end (PHOTO)
Uzbek ministry extends tender for pumping and power equipment
Saudi Crown Prince, Pakistan’s PM hold talks as bilateral agreements, MoUs signed
Russia records another 8,329 new daily coronavirus cases
Kazakh-Turkish JV launches tender to attract equipment inspection services
Iran's Shahid Tondgooyan Petrochemical Company plans to increase production
Azerbaijani Central Bank makes allocations for software platform support
Israel among 12 ‘green’ countries okayed for UK summer travelers
Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku organized at high level - Georgian gymnast
Kazakh oil refinery opens tender to attract examination services
In'tl Judo Federation thanks Azerbaijan for return of previously detained Armenian judoka
Kazakh Gas Processing Plant opens tender on supply of diesel fuel
Interest in Georgian aviation market growing amid COVID-19
Auto sector urges U.S. Congress to help fund its computer chip needs
Iran’s ISOICO declares amount of attracted funds
Mine clearance work on Fuzuli-Ahmadbayli highway continues in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan exceeds plan for transport, communication sector
World Cup competitions at Baku National Gymnastics Arena continue (PHOTO)
Georgia reports 1,564 new coronavirus cases for May 8
Data of Turkmenistan’s construction sector revealed
Supplies of Uzbek cherries to foreign markets to decrease
PASHA Capital - 4M2021 leader in Baku Stock Exchange operations
Uzbekistan developing strategy for promoting textile products to EU market
Turkmenistan records growth in agro-industrial production
S. Korean company eyes producing medical devices in Uzbekistan’s Kashkadarya region
Iran’s GTC unveils volume of wheat purchased from farmers
Prices for gold, silver continue to rise in Azerbaijan
Indicators of Turkmenistan’s oil, gas sector growing
Uzbekistan reveals COVID-19 data for May 8
France to impose quarantines for arrivals from 7 more countries, including UAE, Qatar
Turkish Energy Ministry bans local company from participating in BOTAS tenders
Russian, Tajik presidents to discuss bilateral ties, Tajik-Kyrgyz border clashes
EU calls on U.S. and others to export their vaccines
EBRD considers supporting transformation of Uzbek mining and metallurgical combine
Second day of Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup kicks off in Baku (PHOTO)
Volume of manufactured products increased in Turkmenistan
Latvian cluster partakes in capacity building of engineering companies in Uzbekistan
Fiverr revenue doubles in Q1
Azerbaijani currency rates for May 8
Iranian currency rates for May 8
Iran's Aviation fleet modernization awaiting for Vienna talk results - Iranian Association of Airlines
Azerbaijan sees decrease in oil prices
Fourth round of JCPOA joint Commission held in Vienna
Thailand reports 2,419 new coronavirus cases, 19 new deaths
EU finances Financial Inclusion and Accountability project and DIGITAL RE4M Program in Georgia
IAEA to supply Uzbekistan with equipment for research nuclear reactor
India posts record daily rise in COVID-19 deaths as case numbers surge
Death toll in Mexico City metro overpass collapse rises to 26
About 200 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police in East Jerusalem
Latvia invites Georgian companies to use its ports for logistics services
Biden administration joins global campaign against online extremism
Brazil welcomes U.S. call for talks on vaccine patents
Libya armed groups raid hotel where presidency met, its spokeswoman says
Cybercriminals developing "smart" swarm attack technologies - Fortinet
EU calls on U.S. and others to exports their vaccines
Brazil eyes new Pfizer deal next week for 100 million more COVID-19 shots
Biden concerned about Iran's seriousness in Vienna talks
Israel reports 41 new COVID-19 cases, 838,858 in total
Russia continues analyzing situation around possible Putin-Biden summit — Kremlin
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 839,000 in past day — WHO
UK records another 2,490 coronavirus cases, 15 deaths
Azerbaijan, 10 other OSCE countries call to prevent Nazi glorification - joint statement
"You are free, dear Shusha!" - this May 8 we are in Shusha
Azerbaijani wrestler Alice Manolova wins license for 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo
Iran's CBI warns people of losses of trading cryptocurrencies
Large-scale Covid vaccination sites to be set up in 4 main cities of Georgia
New daily COVID-19 cases in Turkey drops to 20,107
Azerbaijani FM holds meeting with ADB Director for Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Difficulty of my exercises at World Cup in Baku higher than in two previous competitions - Azerbaijani gymnast Arzu Jalilova
Biden says he’s confident in one-on-one meeting with Putin
Azerbaijani embassy denounces decision of Latvian parliament on events of 1915
Kazakhstan boosts goods import from Denmark
Georgian State Electrosystem plans to issue bonds
Establishment of free trade zone in Iran's Ardabil Province to improve trade - MP
Chief of ADB's Energy Sector Group unveils details on ADB Draft Energy Policy
Azerbaijani team express satisfaction for participating in Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup
Azerbaijani team in group exercises reaches final of Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku
All news