One Day after Kofi Annan's Announcement, United Nations Meets to Vote on Resolution
One day after Kofi Annan left his post as Syrian envoy citing increased violence in the country and disunity in the international community, the United Nations is meeting to vote on a resolution drafted by Saudi Arabia.
The resolution condemns the Syrian government's use of heavy weapons against rebel forces in that country and also the United Nations Security Council's failure to agree on measures to stop the violence in Syria.
Russia and China have failed to back three meaningful resolutions to end the violence in the mid-eastern country. The Syrian government and the rebels have also failed to commit to any peace plan set forth by Annan.
The Russian Foreign ministry released a statement today saying that Russia has done everything possible to support Annan's ceasefire but the opposition forces, supported by its western partners, refused to negotiate.
“Moreover, despite the decisions of the U.N. Security Council and Geneva, they continued to supply political, moral, material, technical and financial assistance to Syrian opposition groups, thereby encouraging the irreconcilability of antigovernment forces,” the statement said.
As the conflict appeared to intensify, an un-named Russian official told news agencies that three warships with 360 marines aboard had been deployed to the Syrian port of Tarsus and should arrive there in a few days.
The ships, now in the Mediterranean, are believed to be bringing food, water and supplies to the small Russian maintenence facility there. There is also speculation that the Russians will begin evacuating some of its 30,000 nationals as well as deploy troops there to protect its assets as violence in the country intensifies.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that warships may dock there for logistical reasons, pointing out that they have every right to do so. But, at the same time, they denied that the three ships, already in the Mediterranean, will visit the port of Tarsus.
The Syrian port of Tarsus is the only warm water port outside of the former Soviet Union.