US, Russia squabble over Syria bombing

The United Nations failed to denounce bombings that killed at least 75 people in Syria on Thursday because of a war of words between Russia and the United States.

Russia accused the Obama administration of blocking a resolution that would have condemned the insurgency against President Bashar Assad and said the U.S. actions encouraged terrorism. The U.S. mission to the U.N. said it merely wanted a more balanced statement.

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“The Russian U.N. Mission's assertion that the United States blocked a draft U.N. Security Council press statement yesterday condemning the car bombing in Damascus is false,” spokeswoman Erin Pelton said Friday. “In fact, the United States accepted all elements of the Russian draft statement and merely requested the addition of language concerning the regime's brutal attacks against the Syrian people.”

The language that Russia rejected: "The members of the Security Council also condemned the Syrian government's continued, indiscriminate use of heavy weaponry against civilians, including its Feb. 18 launch of ballistic missiles in residential areas of Aleppo and Feb. 21 airstrikes that hit a field hospital in Dera'a. The members of the Security Council called upon all sides of the conflict to respect international law."

The spokesman for the Russian mission, Anton Uspensky, said the U.S. language amounted to an “unacceptable … search for justifications for terrorist actions.”

Thursday's attacks targeted the Baath Party headquarters and intelligence offices in Damascus. A car bomb killed 53 people near party headquarters and damaged the nearby Russian embassy. Russia has opposed sanctions against Assad and armed his regime. 

At least 190 people died across Syria on Thursday, according to reports. Some 70,000 people have died since the uprising began two years ago next month.