The UN Security Council strongly condemned Friday's terrorist attacks in Syria and sent condolences to the victims, their families and the Syrian people – but not to the government, which is the usual council practice.
Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he left out several words to get support from all 15 council members.
- UN chief 'gravely concerned' over Syria escalation
New Syrian law stipulates death for 'terrorists'
Report: Syria committed crimes against humanity
Suicide bombers hit two security service bases in Damascus on Friday, killing at least 44 people and injuring over 150 in attacks the government blamed on al-Qaeda, but which the opposition said were the work of President Bashar Assad's forces.
The UN's most powerful body remains deeply divided over the uprising against the authoritarian Assad, which has led to its failure to adopt a resolution on Syria and acrimonious exchanges and heightened tensions especially among major powers.
Site of one of Friday's bombings
Western nations and the US are demanding a resolution threatening sanctions if the violence doesn't stop and condemning Assad's crackdown, which the UN says has killed 5,000 people. But Russia and China, which have closer ties to Assad's regime, believe extremist opponents of the government are equally responsible for the bloodshed and oppose any mention of sanctions.
'Attacks underline need to act'
While the council was able to agree on a press statement on Friday's twin suicide bombs targeting Syria's intelligence agencies, it could not agree on another Russian-proposed statement Friday supporting the start of the Arab League mission to investigate Assad's crackdown. It called on all parties to show maximum restraint, but made no mention of the government crackdown on civilians.
The council also remains at odds over a revised Russian-drafted resolution circulated Friday which Germany's UN Ambassador Peter Wittig called "insufficient." He said the Western allies want a resolution incorporating all Syrian issues including spelling out the Arab League demands such as releasing political prisoners and calling for accountability for those who have perpetrated human rights violations.
Wittig said Friday's bombings are "a sign of escalation, that the situation is rapidly deteriorating."
"It underlines the need ... for the council to act: We cannot let the things just happen, we need to act here and those events underline the need to act urgently," he told reporters.
Churkin defended the Russian approach which still calls for an end to violence and a Syrian-led political process.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop