DAMASCUS – Syrian opposition activists called for a “day of rage” Tuesday to protest what they see as Russian support for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Voice of America reported.
On Monday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev rejected calls from the United States and Western Europe for increased sanctions against Syria for its violent crackdown on protesters. Medvedev said there is no need for additional pressure on Syria. He also said any possible United Nations resolution on Syria must be “tough” but “balanced.”
Russia has veto power in the U.N. Security Council and can stop the passage of any resolution against the volatile Middle Eastern nation. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday she “strongly disagreed” with Medvedev, saying the U.N. Security Council should “take stronger action” in imposing sanctions against the Syrian government.
Violence against protesters continued in Syria on Monday. Syrian human rights activists said security forces killed at least 17 people, mostly around the central city of Hama.