Syria violence continues as Russia, China defend their roles

Amid calls for patience from Russia, the Syrian city of Homs saw another day of heavy rocket bombardment and increasing violence.

According to the New York Times, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon publicly criticized the Syrian government for stepping up “its war on its own people.”

“I fear that the appalling brutality we are witnessing in Homs, with heavy weapons firing into civilian neighborhoods, is a grim harbinger of worse to come,” he said.

The BBC has reported the violence is continuing through Thursday.

Russia, however, continued to call for patience while defending its own position, particularly its veto with China of a resolution condemning the policies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and calling for him to step down.

Salman Shaikh of the Brookings Institution suggests that the US and other nations return to the United Nations to resume diplomatic talks.

Shaikh believes the sanctions likely to be imposed by the Arab League, the European Union and the United States “will not stop the regime’s brutal crackdown.” Rather, he suggests, “The international community’s efforts must therefore focus also on altering the situation on the ground. While many would think it futile, especially given the deeply frustrating last eleven months, it is time to return to the United Nations and seek consensus, at least on how to stop the violence.”

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