Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan rebuked the U.N. Security Council for inaction over Syria on Saturday as war intensified across the country, saying the world body of superpowers was repeating mistakes that led to massacres in Bosnia in the 1990s.
President Bashar al-Assad's forces used air strikes and artillery to bombard insurgents on several fronts in the 19-month-old conflict, which risks dragging in regional powers with no sign of a diplomatic breakthrough.
Turkey - increasingly entangled after having intercepted a Syrian airliner carrying what it said were Russian-made munitions for the Syrian army, infuriating Moscow and Damascus - has led calls for intervention, including no-fly zones enforced by foreign aircraft to stop deadly air raids by Assad's forces.
But there is little chance of U.N. support for robust action. China insists any solution to Syria's crisis must come from within while Russia has said many Syrians still support Assad. Western nations meanwhile are loath to commit to any military action that could touch off a regional sectarian war.
"The U.N. Security Council has not intervened in the human tragedy that has been going on in Syria for 20 months, despite all our efforts," Erdogan told a conference in Istanbul attended by dignitaries including Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby. "There's an attitude that encourages, gives the green light to Assad to kill tens or hundreds of people every day."
And yes, Erdogan's comparison to Bosnia is rather apt. China and Russia aren't going to allow anything to happen on a UN front until things are already too late, because al-Assad is A) a pretty good customer of theirs and B) the last thing either one of them wants is the UN poking around in his books.
Eventually something's going to have to give. Sadly, it's not looking like diplomacy.