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article imageRussia blocks UN Security Council statement on Qusayr fighting

By Sami Zaatari     Jun 1, 2013 in World
An attempted UN Security Council statement over the fighting in Qusayr has been blocked by Russia. The original draft statement was circulated by Britain.
A council diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity said that the Russian decision to block a statement was due to the fact that the UN Security Council made no such statement when the Qusayr fell into rebel hands.
Reuters which managed to obtain the draft message, said that the draft statement voiced concern over the humanitarian impact on civilians caught up in the fighting. The draft statement also called on Assad's soldiers to "to do their utmost to avoid civilian casualties and for the Syrian Government to exercise its responsibility to protect civilians".
The latest diplomatic move by Russia illustrates Russia's deep political backing for the Assad regime, in contrast to western nations seeking to put as much pressure on Assad.
Meanwhile in Qusayr itself, fighting continued between government soldiers and rebels over the town. Rebels on Saturday tried to retake the Daba military air base located near Qusayr, the base was seized by Assad's forces on Wednesday.
Soldiers and rebels also continued to reinforce their ranks in the continued fighting over the town which has now entered into it's second week of straight fighting.
The town of Qusayr lies in Homs Province located near the Syrian-Lebanese border, and as a result of this proximity, the town holds significant strategic value for both rebels and government troops. For rebels, it allows them an arms and logistical supply line from Lebanon, as well as allowing them access to the main city of Homs itself.
For the government, capturing the town would severe rebel supply lines from Lebanon, and would also severe rebel supply lines from the town of Qusayr into Homs city.
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