The Syrian people are paying a heavy price for their courageous insistence on their fundamental rights. The United Nations says that the seven months-long crackdown by the Assad regime on peaceful protestors demanding democratic political change has resulted in more than 2900 deaths, including more than 100 children.
On October 4th, the United States, its European allies, and other countries around the world were gravely disappointed when China and Russia vetoed a European-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the Assad regime's brutal crackdown.
Immediately following the vote, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Susan Rice, said, "The courageous people of Syria can now clearly see who on this Council supports their yearning for liberty and universal human rights –- and who does not. And during this season of change, the people of the Middle East can now see clearly which nations have chosen to ignore their calls for democracy and instead prop up desperate, cruel dictators."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Security Council resolution "represented the bare minimum that the international community should have said in response to the months of violence that the Assad regime has inflicted on the Syrian people.
"The people who joined with us from four continents to express our condemnation and call for an end to the violence and to begin a peaceful transition to a new democratic, non-sectarian Syria are on the right side of history," said Secretary of State Clinton. "In the meantime, those countries that continue to send weapons to the Assad regime that are turned against innocent men, women and children, should look hard at what they are doing."
The United States will continue to work with partners in the region and allies around the world to step up pressure on the Assad regime to stop its violence, persecution, and intimidation of the Syrian people and allow Syrians to make forward with a peaceful transition to a government that responds to their desire for freedom and universal human rights.