23:03 GMT +3 hours21 November 2014
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UN Passes Controversial Resolution on Syria

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(updated 18:28 28.10.2014)
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The UN General Assembly on Friday passed a Saudi-drafted resolution on Syria, which Russia called ‘unbalanced’ and voted against.

The UN General Assembly on Friday passed a Saudi-drafted resolution on Syria, which Russia called ‘unbalanced’ and voted against.

The non-binding resolution denounces both President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for unleashing tanks, artillery, helicopters and warplanes on the people of Aleppo and the Security Council for its "failure" to counter the crisis.

The resolution notes "human rights abuses by armed opposition groups" and condemns "all violence, irrespective of where it comes from, including terrorist acts."

The resolution was supported by 133 UN member states, 12 voted against and 31 abstained.

 

The resolution “will aggravate the confrontational approach to resolution of the Syrian crisis and will in no way facilitate movement of the sides toward a platform of dialogue and a search for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in the interests of the Syrian people,” Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said after the vote.

Russia and China have previously vetoed three Security Council resolutions on Syria.

The vote comes a day after Kofi Annan announced his resignation as the UN and Arab League special envoy to Syria. Annan championed a six-point peace plan that has failed to take hold.
"The conflict in Syria is a test of everything this organization stands for," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said to the assembly ahead of the vote. "I do not want today's United Nations to fail that test."

"As we meet here, Aleppo, one of the most ancient and storied cities in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the epicenter of a vicious battle between the Syrian government and those who wish to replace it," Ban said.

"The acts of brutality that are being reported may constitute crimes against humanity or war crimes. Such acts must be investigated and the perpetrators held to account."

Aleppo, a city of 2.5 million people, has remained the hotspot of Syria’s civil conflict since last week, when pro-government forces launched a massive assault on the city in a colossal push to regain control of key territories across the country. The Al-Watan newspaper proclaimed the fight for Aleppo "the mother of all battles."

Some observers view the battle for Aleppo as a major watershed in the Syrian conflict which could decide the future of the armed uprising against Assad.