31 October 2012, 13:01

Syrian govt troops engaged in bitter fighting with rebels in Damascus

Syrian govt troops engaged in bitter fighting with rebels in Damascus

Syrian government troops are engaged in bitter fighting with rebels on the outskirts of Damascus. According to the Al-Watan news agency, the exchange of fire has been on for the second day in a residential quarter in the south of the capital city, and the nearby Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp.

Syrian government troops are engaged in bitter fighting with rebels on the outskirts of Damascus.

According to the Al-Watan news agency, the exchange of fire has been on for the second day in a residential quarter in the south of the capital city, and the nearby Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp.

The situation has been aggravated in the north and the east of Damascus.

Syrian Air Force planes delivered pinpoint strikes Tuesday on terrorist bases and pockets of resistance in these areas.

The government troops are through with their mop-up operation in the Suleiman al-Khaliabi district of Aleppo, the country’s second most important city.

The residents have been allowed to return to their homes.

The municipal services have got down to re-building the destroyed utility lines.

Meanwhile, government troops have stopped and wiped out several convoys with militants, and have also blown up two trucks with ammunition at the approach to Syria’s northern capital.

According to the SANA news agency, dozens of terrorists and mercenaries have been killed in fighting with Syrian Army units.

Bhahimi urges China to play 'active role' in Syria crisis

UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said Wednesday he hoped China would play an active role in helping end the violence in Syria as he met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi for talks in Beijing.

Greeting Yang at the foreign ministry in front of reporters, Brahimi said he hoped "China can play an active role in solving the events in Syria" without elaborating further.

China is generally suspicious of intervention in the internal affairs of other nations, with state media last month accusing Western powers of hampering efforts to end the conflict.

Both China and Russia have exercised their veto in the UN Security Council to block resolutions aimed at putting more pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Meeting Brahimi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last month, Yang reaffirmed this stance, saying that "political dialogue is the only correct way to tackle this issue".

Any political transition must be led by the people of Syria and not imposed by outside forces, he said.

Brahimi, who succeeded former United Nations chief Kofi Annan after he quit over what he called a lack of international support, is due to present new proposals for resolving the conflict to the UN Security Council next month.

His two-day visit to China, which ends Wednesday, came after he met Russia's foreign minister in Moscow and described the conflict, now in its 19th month after a failed four-day truce last week, as going from bad to worse.

Syria needs an overhaul – Lavrov, Brahimi

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and international Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi believe Syria needs a complete overhaul. They came to this conclusion at a meeting in Moscow Monday during a discussion on what to do next after the apparent collapse of the Eid al-Adha ceasefire in Syria.

The Russian Minister said the family of nations must continue its efforts to find a peaceful solution for Syria:

"Russia is determined to help the United Nations and the Arab League implement the decisions of last June’s Geneva conference on Syria and bring about a political dialogue between the Syrian sides. The Geneva resolutions were backed by all outside powers wielding influence on the Syrians and must be acted upon. Accordingly, the Syrian government and the opposition must be persuaded to cease hostilities and start talks aimed at forming a transitional government for their country."

Mr Lavrov again:

"Implementing a workable ceasefire supposes the presence of international observers on Syrian soil. Sending them is a matter for the UN Security Council. The next Syrian mission must be considerably stronger than the last one that had to be rolled up in August."

Mr Lavrov urged the Security Council to get down to considering concrete plans for its next Syria mission. He also pointed out that Russia is the only outside power that continues to maintain contact with both the Syrian opposition and the Syrian government. This makes it the best possible mediator in the Syrian conflict.

Mr Lakhdar Brahimi said the Syrian people deserve the strongest possible international support of their efforts to restore normality to their long-suffering country, and this support must come in the form of a meaningful engagement involving all outside powers that have interests or contacts in Syria and all the sides in the Syrian conflict He said the Syrian violence must come to an end and give way to a new peaceful Syria. Syria and its neighbours, Mr Brahimi argued, are in need of profound change which amounts to a complete overhaul.

UK blocks Russian condemnation of Syria terrorism

The United Kingdom has blocked a Russian-tabled Security Council motion to condemn one of the latest terror attacks in Syria. Its envoy said the British delegation did not possess sufficient information about this attack.

The incident in question took place last Friday when unidentified terrorists detonated a bomb near a children’s playground in Damascus leaving several kids dead and several others injured.

In a statement posted on the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry Monday, Moscow condemned Britain’s veto on its resolution as an instance of double standards at work. It said approaches of this kind can do nothing but encourage terrorists.

Voice of Russia, TASS, AFP

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