A new wave of violence has erupted in Syria, killing 59 people. It comes as Russia stands by its claim it will use its veto powers to strike down a draft resolution it says is not in Syria's best interests.
Fierce clashes have swept across Syria killing 59 people. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the death toll was heaviest in Damascus where 24 civilians were killed, along with six army deserters. Fifteen soldiers were reported killed in the city of Homs. Nearly 200 people are thought to have died in the unrest over the past few days.
The fresh violence comes as Russia continues to say it will vote against a UN Security Council draft resoution condemning the Syrian regime. Kremlin officials say the current draft does not rule out military intervention or forced regime change in Syria.
In New York on Wednesday, United Nations ambassadors were again trying to persuade Russia to change its stance.
"Russia does not agree with the current draft resolution and could use its power in the Security Council to strike the initiative down, should it come to a vote", said one UN official.
Morocco introduced the draft resolution calling for the formation of a unity government that would lead to "transparent and free elections." The outline says there will be no military intervention in Syria as there was in Libya last year.
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said on Wednesday that her agency estimates over 6000 people have lost their lives since the uprising began nearly 11 months ago, as Syrian authorities seek to quell anti-government protests.
jw/msh/ng (AFP, dpa, Reuters)