Annan to brief UN Council on Syria on Friday

UNITED NATIONS - UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is due to brief the UN Security Council on Friday about his peace mission to Syria where pro-democracy protests have deteriorated into bloody turmoil.
Council diplomats say that Annan's assessment of the crisis will be crucial to a bid by the United States and its European allies to pass a resolution on Syria. Russia and China have already twice vetoed draft resolutions condemning Syria.
Negotiations on a resolution are expected to accelerate after Annan's briefing, diplomats said. It was still unclear whether Russia would support a resolution on Syria, where the escalating violence has killed thousands of civilians.