After a week of escalating violence in Syria, the chief U.N. official there in the country said today that efforts to resolve the conflict have had little effect. It was a bleak assessment from the man leading the United Nations observer mission for the past six months. NPR's Deborah Amos joins us from Damascus, where she has been out with observers assessing the situation.
And Deb, what was the message today from Major General Robert Mood?
Saying that his country is "not violating any international law," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today defended his country's sale of weapons to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. He said Russia is not supplying anything that "can be used in battles with peaceful demonstrators."
And, Reuters reports, he "accused the United States of supplying rebels with weapons to fight against the government" — a charge the U.S. has rejected many times.
Syrian activists have posted thousands of videos of civilians killed and wounded in the 15-month-old conflict. But there have been many casualties on the government side as well, and they are on display at a military hospital in the capital, Damascus.
For Abdul Kareem Mustapha, a 51-year-old colonel in the Syrian army, the war came for him at 8:15 a.m. on his way to his military post.