UN peacekeeping observers have acknowledged the presence of terrorist groups in Syria, which are hindering the peace process between the government and the opposition, China’s Xinhua agency has reported, quoting UN peacekeeping head Herve Ladsous.
“We know that there are ... a third party (of the conflict), terrorist groups, who are trying to gain advantage for themselves... but we have to see this as an issue within Syria, between the Syrians,” Ladsous said at a news conference held in Damascus.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said that foreign fighters, some of them Al-Qaeda members, are fighting in extremist groups operating in Syria.
Ladsous added that 270 observers are working in six cities across Syria. According to him, observers will arrive in four more cities.
More than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, the UN says.