General Assembly to ask Syria's Assad to step down
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -
Arab countries are pushing ahead with a symbolic U.N. General Assembly resolution that tells Syrian President Bashar Assad to resign and turn over power to a transitional government. It also demands that the Syrian army stop its shelling and helicopter attacks and withdraw to its barracks. A vote is set for Thursday morning.
The draft resolution takes a swipe at Russia and China by "deploring the Security Council failure" to act. Moscow and Beijing have used their veto in the Council three times to kill resolutions that might have opened the door to sanctions on Syria.
While the 193-member General Assembly has no legal mechanism for enforcing such a resolution, it can carry moral and symbolic power if a vote is overwhelming.
The U.N. is reporting a significant escalation in Syria's civil war Wednesday, with the military using warplanes to fire on opposition fighters in the 12-day battle for Aleppo.