Battles were raging on the outskirts of Damascus and in the corridors of the United Nations building in New York over the fate of Syria. Troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad battled rebels trying to enforce their grip on the capital’s suburbs, just a few miles from the center of government. By the timing fighting died down with nightfall Monday, activists reported that 19 civilians and six fighters had been killed.
At the UN, an Arab League resolution backed by the U.S., Britain and France calling for Al-Assad to step down faces opposition from Russia, which can veto any resolution. Moscow said Al-Assad’s government had agreed to talks in Moscow to end the crisis, but a major opposition body rejected any dialogue with him. A draft of the resolution, obtained by the Reuters news agency, calls for a "political transition" in Syria and says the Security Council could adopt unspecified "further measures" if Syria does not comply.
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