The Main Stream

May 29, 2012 1:40 AM

Russia puts much of the blame on Syria's government

BEIRUT, LEBANON - The weekend massacre of more than 100 people in central Syria is emerging as a potential turning point in the country's crisis.

Even staunch Syrian ally Russia is taking an unusually hard line against the regime of Bashar Assad, saying it "bears the main responsibility for what is going on."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says "both sides obviously had a hand" in the deaths. He says the killings happened in an area "controlled by the rebels," but one that is "surrounded by government troops."

A Middle East expert with the Carnegie Moscow Center, Alexei Malashenko, says Russia can no longer defend Assad's government, and may be warning him that he needs to change his approach.

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