Syria’s bloody crackdown on dissident militants and protestors raged through the weekend, when some of the fiercest fighting of the 10-month conflict was waged in the eastern suburbs of Damascus. The presence of rebel fighters in the loosely organized Free Syria Army in these areas may be an indication that Syria could descend into an even deadlier, drawn out civil war.
On Monday morning, Syrian state television reported that a gas pipeline was bombednear the Lebanon border. And on Sunday, at least 62 people were killed as the military shelled the Damascus neighbourhoods and launched raids to push back rebel forces from the seat President Bashar al-Assad’s power, the Associated Press reported.
In the face of escalating violence, Arab League observers announced the suspension of their mission in Syria. Despite the criticism that their presence was having little effect on the situation, the observers were among the only outside sources that were able to witness and report on the violence in Syria.
As if all this isn’t grim enough, any substantive action from the international community is notably absent. In a bid to change this perception, foreign ministers from France and Britain are traveling to the UN in New York to press the Security Council to draft a resolution aimed at halting violence in Syria, which has killed an estimated 5,400 people.
But Russia—one of the Syrian regime’s biggest boosters—has threatened to use its veto power to block any such move. The Kremlin’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, called any resolution seeking to ouster Assad from power “absolutely unforgivable.”
The intensity of violence in Syria is on the rise. And there’s no end in sight.