Russia And China Veto U.N. Syria Sanctions

Amid escalating violence in Syria’s civil war, Russia and China exercised their veto power to block a Western-backed U.N. Security Council resolution that would have imposed new sanctions on Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The U.K.’s ambassador to the U.N. Mark Lyall Grant told Al Jazeera that the Russia and China “have chosen to put their national interests ahead of the lives of Syrians.” Human Rights Watch warned that the Council would become “irrelevant” because of the double vetos’ “callous disregard for [human rights] violations.” The U.N. monitoring mission, part of a faltering peace plan, expires tomorrow. Some Council members say they will pursue a temporary extension, but U.S. support is not certain.