The UN General Assembly on Thursday approved by a large majority a resolution condemning repression in Syria despite opposition from China and Russia. The draft was adopted by 137 votes in favor, 12 against and 17 abstentions. Cuba, Iran, Venezuela and North Korea voted against the move. Unlike the Security Council, there is no veto right in the Assembly.
The resolution requires the Syrian government to end its attacks against the civilian population, supports the efforts of the Arab League to ensure a democratic transition in Damascus and recommends the appointment of a special UN envoy to Syria.
The resolution is essentially symbolic as the General Assembly is a consultative body.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "welcomed the long awaited message" sent by the resolution. "This is a massive and unequivocal support to the Syrian people," responded the French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe, who wants "this resolution to be fully implemented."
On the ground, regime forces continued their crackdown. In the province of Idlib (northwest), the military has committed a "massacre" that killed 19 people, including 11 of the same extended family, announced the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights. "Security forces have committed (this) massacre during an assault on Errouj Sahl," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Observatory.
Elsewhere, 14 people, including blogger Razan Ghazzawi , who became a symbol of the rebellion, and Mazen Darwish, head of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, were arrested by security forces in Damascus.