Russia, China Oppose Syria Action

Russia and China both opposed a United Nations–sponsored intervention on Wednesday, one day after special envoy Kofi Annan returned from Damascus and said that Syria is at a “tipping point.” Russia’s deputy foreign minister said Wednesday that the country is “categorically against” foreign intervention in Syria and that any new steps by the Security Council—on which both Russia and China hold important veto power—would be “premature.” Annan arrived in Damascus earlier this week to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, although those talks have reportedly gone nowhere. Meanwhile, Turkey—neighboring Syria—expelled Syrian diplomats, becoming the 13th country since Tuesday to order diplomats to leave. The U.N. misison said on Wednesday that 13 dead bodies were found with their hands tied behind their backs in Deir ez Zor, in the eastern part of the country.