Senators: International efforts on Syria insufficient

“Unfortunately, speeches and meetings by themselves will do nothing to stop the unacceptable slaughter in Syria, which is growing worse by the day,” the senators said. “What is needed urgently are tangible actions by the community of responsible nations to ensure that the Syrian people have the means to protect themselves against their attackers.”

The senators called for weapons, tactical intelligence, communications equipment, financing and medical supplies to be given to the Syrian rebels, who have been under siege from Assad’s forces.

The United States and nearly 70 other countries making up the Friends of Syria planned to call on Friday for United Nations peacekeeping troops to enter the country after a cease-fire. They said Assad risked further consequences if he did not halt the violence and allow humanitarian aid to reach civilians.

“If the Assad regime refuses to allow this life-saving aid to reach civilians, it will have even more blood on its hands," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in opening remarks at the conference in Tunisia, according to The Associated Press.

The Friends of Syria group was convened after a U.N. Security Council resolution, which would have adopted an Arab League plan for Assad to relinquish power, was vetoed by China and Russia earlier this month.

Clinton said “nations that continue to protect and arm the regime” would have blood on their hands, referring to China and Russia.

Obama administration officials have said they do not want to add to the militarization in Syria, and are looking for a political resolution to the conflict.