Wednesday, February 1, 2012

U.N. Security Council at standstill on Syria as reports of deaths rise

United Nations (CNN) -- At least 20 people were killed across Syria on Wednesday, opposition activists said, as diplomats at the United Nations prepare to debate once again how to respond to the mounting crisis in the country.

Twelve people were killed in Wadi Barada, in the Damascus suburbs, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an opposition group that organizes and documents demonstrations. The other deaths occurred in Homs, Idlib and Qamishli, the LCC said.

The latest casualties include six defectors who were killed during clashes with government forces in the Damascus suburbs, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, another opposition activist group.

The reports came a day after members of the U.N. Security Council failed to reach an agreement on a resolution that would call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. Al-Assad has faced growing international pressure to stop a bloody crackdown on dissidents seeking his ouster and true democratic elections. Read More