Demonstrators hold an illustration during a against Syria's President Assad in Kafranbel

 
Demonstrators hold an illustration during a against Syria
Demonstrators hold an illustration depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin, with Russia's national flag and the Syrian opposition flag, during a against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Kafranbel, near Idlib June 12, 2012. U.S. and European officials have said the escalation of the conflict in Syria occurred because Russia used its U.N. Security Council veto to prevent the 15-nation body from imposing sanctions on Damascus to force it to halt its assault on an uprising that began as a peaceful pro-democracy movement. Russia is a staunch ally of Syria, which remains one of the top purchasers of Russian weapons. REUTERS/Shaam News Network/Handout (SYRIA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS