Russia says it will block any UN effort to intervene with force in Syria
BEIRUT (AP) -- Russia says it will block any Western attempts to intervene with military force in Syria.
Russia's foreign minister says his country's draft of a U.N. Security Council resolution is aimed at making it clear that nothing can justify foreign military interference in Syria.
Western diplomats say the Russian statement falls short of their demand for a strong condemnation of Bashar Assad's crackdown on civilians who oppose his government.
Assad is showing fresh confidence that he can ride out his country's uprising with the help of a small -- but influential -- set of friends in Russia, China and Iran. He has made two public appearances in recent days, vowing to strike back with an "iron hand" against the uprising.
Protesters are showing no sign of retreat after 10 months. And the uprising is becoming more militarized, as some regime opponents and army defectors arm themselves and fight back against Assad's government.
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