British embassy personnel withdrawn from
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva voted 38-3 to condemn Syria in a resolution that refers to “widespread and systematic violations of human rights”. China, Cuba and Russia voted against the motion, continuing to argue that intervening in Syria’s affairs will worsen the situation.
The vote came as Syrian forces bombarded the Baba Amro district of Homs, where the plight of rebels and civilians is worsened by the heaviest snow the area has seen in years, according to rebels quoted by Reuters.
The Swiss government Thursday confirmed that it closed its Syrian embassy Wednesday, after weeks of encouraging its citizens there to leave the country. The embassy says that 150 who are registered remain in the country, all but three of them with dual citizenship. Two-thirds of them live in Damascus, with another group in Aleppo.
The UK announced it has withdrawn staff from its embassy in Damascus and it is stopping all diplomatic services.
The Voice of America cites Hillary Clinton at a press conference as saying “There is little doubt that Iran is strongly supporting Assad and his regime,” adding: “The details about what they are or are not doing, we could provide what we know in a classified session, but you are absolutely right that Iran has a lot invested in Assad and will do whatever it can to keep him in power.”