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Russia: The time for Syrian democratic reforms has come (+video)

Russia's foreign minister is meeting with Assad in Damascus today, just days after Moscow blocked UN action against the regime.

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Russia may be merely seeking a “controlled demolition” of the Assad regime, without Western intervention, rather than a desire to prop up the current government, according to Reuters.

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Meanwhile, the Syrian government’s onslaught has barreled on, emboldened by Russia and China’s defense. The BBC reports that the Syrian Army has been “pounding” Homs, one of a few rebel strongholds throughout the country. Residents worry that the artillery being fired on the city from its outskirts will soon turn into a ground assault, led by army tanks.

Activists told the BBC that at least 95 people were killed in Homs on Monday alone.

Turkey said it will launch an international effort of its own against Assad, BBC reports.

China, the other country that vetoed the UN resolution and thus also a target of international criticism, said it may send an envoy to Damascus.

"Today, China, because of its rapidly rising strength, sits at the main table on the global stage, and needs to get used to newly being in the limelight. The international community also needs to adjust to China's new role," said Ruan [Zongze, identified as a foreign affairs expert writing in The People’s Daily]. "Although this means that China will face even more difficult choices when it comes to handling complex international affairs, China must dare to speak its mind, and proactively create a just, rational global political process." 

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IN PICTURES: The censure of Syria 

RAW VIDEO: Crowds Greet Lavrov Convoy in Damascus

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