Monday, 29 October 2012

Syria truce collapses, UN Envoy gropes for ideas

AFP

Fight against DAMASCUS and air strikes shook Syria on Sunday as the international community looked to pick up the pieces of a failed attempt to stop the violence for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Fresh clashes saw rebels storm regime positions in the suburbs of Damascus as air strikes pummelled opposition held areas on the eastern edge of the capital, activists and watchdog said.

The four-day truce by UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi proposed collapsed amid conflicts, Peel and car bombings only hours after it had been due to take effect with the start of the Eid on Friday morning.

With shattered hope of even a temporary cessation of the 19 months of bloodshed, diplomats in Syria said that Brahimi looks ahead to new efforts to combat the crisis.

He is to go to the UN Security Council in November with new proposals aimed at pushing for political talks between President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition, UN diplomats said, and Russia and China will this week head to to discuss the crisis.

Brahimi will "come back with some ideas for Security Council activity early next month," said a senior UN diplomat.

"The political process will not start until Assad and the opposition have beaten each other so much that there is no choice. They are not there yet, but Brahimi has a number of ideas, "added another Envoy in the Security Council.

On the ground on Sunday, rebels took control of three military posts in the outer suburb of Damascus of Douma amid heavy fighting and killed four soldiers at a checkpoint in the region, said the Syrian Observatory for human rights.

Regime warplanes hit targets in three air strikes in the nearby towns of Irbin, Zamalka and Harasta, where the army has tried for weeks to dislodge rebels, said the group.

At least 23 people were killed on Sunday, according to a provisional count compiled by the Observatory, following 114 deaths on Saturday, including 47 citizens, 36 soldiers and 31 rebels.

The Observatory on the basis of Britain is based on a countrywide network of activists, lawyers and doctors in civilian and military hospitals.

Fierce fighting erupted In Northern commercial hub Aleppo in different districts of the embattled city, such as the army shelled two neighborhoods, including the old souks in the heart of the second largest city in Syria, it said.

The souks are part of Aleppo from Old City district, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Parts of the souks were badly damaged by a fire caused by the fighting in late September.

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