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The United Nations wants to try to stop the escalating violence in Syria after an Arab League monitoring mission couldn't do it, but the global organization (which includes some Syrian allies) doesn't appear to be planning any sanctions. And sanctions are really the U.N.'s great leverage, outside of a military mission, so the peace plan it's mulling for the country sounds fairly toothless. Reuters got ahold of a resolution the U.N. plans to vote on next week: "The text, obtained by Reuters, calls for a 'political transition,' but not for U.N. sanctions against Assad's government, which Moscow, an old ally of Syria and an important arms supplier to Damascus, opposes." As for the Arab League monitors, they're still in the country but as The New York Times reports, they haven't been able to see much as Syrian government and opposition forces tend to clear out of the way when the monitors come around. When the Gulf states quit the Arab League mission, they wanted the U.N. to step in, but so far it looks like the U.N. won't offer much more than its opinion.

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