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Kofi Annan

Syria's downward spiral

Syria's downward spiral

Reports that Russia is supplying Syrian President Bashar Assad with attack helicopters for use against rebel fighters and civilian protesters mark an ominous new phase in the country's descent into chaos and civil war. Mr. Assad's escalation from tanks and heavy artillery to aerial assaults threatens to spark a new arms race between the government and its opponents that can only lead to more bloodshed and suffering as long as he remains in power.

On Tuesday U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly took Russia to task for its role in fomenting the violence that has killed more than 10,000 Syrian civilians since the uprising began last year. Ms. Clinton rightly dismissed...