As fighting continues in Syria, the United Nations security council failed once again to agree on how to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the violence he has perpetrated against his own people. Russia and China vetoed for the third time a resolution that would have threatened sanctions on the regime.
Other countries on the council criticized Russia and China for failing to act against the Syrian regime, and accused them of propping up Assad and his government.
Russia and China in turn responded by saying that any resolution punishing violence in Syria must also mention the rebel fighters. This resolution, they said, was more concerned with playing global politics than it was about protecting the Syrian people.
This comes only days after the International Coalition of the Red Cross officially declared Syria to be in the midst of a civil war, and an explosion in Damascus killed several of Assad's top officials.
Meanwhile violence has now spread throughout the Syrian capitol of Damascus. This has many people speculating that Assad has lost control of his capitol and his state, and will be forced to leave office in the near future.
"Today was an opportunity lost. History will show us price that the people in Syria and beyond will have to pay." - Peter Wittig, German ambassador to the U.N
1. What are sanctions?
2. What is the United Nations?
3. Who is Bashar al-Assad?
1. How might sanctions hurt the Assad regime?
2. Why do you think Russia and China have opposed threatening sanctions against Syria?
3. What do you think would be the best way for the international community to engage and reduce the violence in Syria?