UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution on Wednesday expressing outrage at “widespread and systematic gross violations” by Syrian authorities.
The resolution, initiated by Saudi Arabia on behalf of dozens of states including the U.S., is one of the strongest criticisms yet of the regime of President Bashar Assad. It also expresses “grave concern at the spread of extremism and extremist groups” in Syria.
The resolution, approved 127 to 13, with 47 countries abstaining, is not legally binding, but it’s a strong expression of world opinion on the conflict in Syria, where fighting between the government and opposition has left more than 100,000 dead.
The U.N. Security Council, whose resolutions are legally binding, has been largely stalled on taking strong action on Syria because of vetoes from Russia, the country’s top ally.
The Syrian ambassador to the U.N., Bashar Ja’afari, called the General Assembly resolution “outrageously hostile.”
Ja’afari also criticized Saudi Arabia, which backs the rebels and has strongly criticized the Security Council’s failure to resolve Syria’s civil war, as a supporter of terrorists “throughout the world.”
The British mission to the U.N. called the vote a “strong result.”
The resolution condemns the use of chemical weapons in Syria and “strongly points” to their use by the Syrian government in an Aug. 21 poison gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta.
It also notes that the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference have held the Syrian government “fully responsible” for the Ghouta attacks, and calls on the Security Council to take “the necessary measures against all those responsible for the chemical weapons attack” to ensure accountability.
The resolution demands an end to all human rights abuses, the immediate release of all detainees and immediate steps by the Syrian government to expand humanitarian relief operations.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Peak your palate with gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again