Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has arrived in the Syrian capital for talks aimed at ending the bloody crackdown on a popular revolt.
State television broadcast pictures of thousands of people waving Hezbollah, Syrian and Russian flags, seemingly in support of Moscow’s backing for President Bashar al-Assad.
“Every leader of every country must be aware of his share of responsibility. You are aware of yours,” Russian state-run RIA quoted Lavrov as saying in Damascus. Moscow has said Assad’s opponents must also share responsibility for the violence.
Russia and China were the only members of the UN Security Council to vote against a resolution calling on Assad to give up power. Many will now be hoping Lavrov can exert extra pressure to bring an end to reports of violence across the city of Homs.
Amateur video from activists appears to show the chaos inside a makeshift clinic where it is claimed more than 20 people were killed by government shelling.
With hundreds more deaths reported, the US has closed its embassy in Damascus while Britain has recalled its envoy as it seeks fresh sanctions.