Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has warned both sides in the Syria conflict that they are on “a path to mutual destruction” and said that dialogue is imperative. Lavrov was speaking at the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum, attended by the head of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabi. Lavrov said:
The need to start a dialogue becomes more and more clear ..It’s time to end this two-year conflict. Neither side can allow itself to bet on a military settlement as this is a path to nowhere, a path to the mutual destruction.
Syrian state media said that mortar shells exploded near one of the presidential palaces of Bashar al-Assad in the capital, Damascus. No casualties were reported. It is not clear whether the president was in the Tishreen palace at the time. they stay quit about their shootings on Aleppo. a Syrian rocket hit the rebel-held Jabal Badro district, destroying several buildings.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights put the death toll yesterday at 97 (not including government troops). Most were in Aleppo (39 killed) and Damascus and its suburbs (34). It says the dead included 15 children, seven women and eight Free Syrian Army fighters.
We could see a masked man on television declaring: “We are Syrian mujahedeen, back from various jihad fronts to restore God’s rule on the Earth and avenge the Syrians’ violated honour and spilled blood.” He went on: “Every free and noble man must take up arms, even if he has to sell his furniture to do so… Oh people of manliness! Jabhat al-Nusra has taken upon itself to be the Muslim nation’s weapon in this land.”
It seems nothing is moving in the International community to end the torture and killing of civilians and innocent people. Some 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, the UN says.
The violence has spread humanitarian suffering across much of Syria.
A big problem everywhere is the food shortage and the contaminated water plus the poor hygiene practices in populated areas which have led to an increase in waterborne diseases such as Hepatitis A and Typhoid.
The World Health Organization said the health situation on the ground is rapidly deteriorating, with an estimated 2,500 people in the northeastern Deir el-Zour province infected with Typhoid and 14,000 cases of Leishmania, a parasite responsible for an infectious and often debilitating disease, in Hassakeh province.
One million Syrian refugees, mostly women and kids fleeing the war, are expected to enter Jordan this year. Members who visited border camps in the region call for continued support for refugees.
In a separate development, the first of two Russian planes with humanitarian aid landed in the Syrian port of Latakia, Russia’s Interfax news agency reports.
More than 46 tonnes of aid is being delivered from Moscow, including generators, tents and food.
The planes are expected to take back Russian citizens on the return flight, which would be the first direct evacuation.
For months now we have heard lots of words and seen many talks, resulting in not much good for the population, which is being strangled by many parties, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters also doing the same atrocities as the government of the homeland. On both sites war crimes are warp and weft.
After weeks of “divisive” talk on whether to arm Syria’s rebels, the European Union foreign ministers in a lengthy session agreed to renew sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad until the end of May.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague at the close of talks on monday said: “We would’ve gone further, some were against. This is a compromise”.
The ministers did agree to amend the sanctions slightly, “so as to provide greater non-lethal support and technical assistance for the protection of civilians,” an EU statement said.
Hague said details on goods or expertise — such as trainers, helmets or protective clothing — likely to flow to Syria would be issued in the coming days, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said legal experts would ensure the change was in line with common policy.
“It’s not about military support,” said Ashton. “It’s about how to make sure to give the best possible support to the protection of civilians.”
Please look at the video:
A small delegation of MEPs visits refugee camps at the Syria-Jordan border to examine at first hand the conditions on the ground. Comment on European Parliament Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/europeanparli…
- 19 Killed in Northern Syria Missile Shelling, Activists Say (hispanicbusiness.com)
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops shelled the area of Jabal Badero, in the northern province of Aleppo at dawn with high-power long-range ballistic missiles. Six children were among those killed.
Activists in Aleppo said the neighbourhood was hit by five Scud missiles.
The new attack came after National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar said his country was prepared to talk with armed opposition groups. It is the first time the government offers to hold direct negotiations with rebels, whom it has long dismissed as “terrorists.”
“We affirm our commitment to holding dialogue with the opposition within Syria and abroad, along with all those who bore arms and then abandoned them, all without relinquishing national standards,” he said, addressing parliament late Monday, according to state news agency SANA.
Earlier this month, the main opposition group said it was ready for dialogue with representative of the Syrian regime, focusing on the departure of Bashar al-Assad from power.
But the government said it will not accept any conditions for the talks.
- Mortars explode near Assad’s palace in Damascus (warsclerotic.wordpress.com)
Two mortars exploded near one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s palaces in Damascus on Tuesday but caused only material damage, Syria’s state news service said.The attack was the first confirmed strike close to a presidential palace and another sign that the civil war is seeping into areas once considered safe and reaching closer to the heart of Assad’s seat of power in the capital.
- Russia Steps Up Syrian Diplomacy Before Assad Envoy Visit – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
Russia urged President Bashar al- Assad to respond to an offer of dialogue by his opponents as it steps up diplomatic efforts aimed at ending the almost two-year conflict in Syria.
Russia’s “strong ties” with Syria should be used to convince Assad to negotiate a settlement, El-Arabi said.
- UN: Syrian Refugee Numbers Top 850,000 (israelnationalnews.com)
The United Nations has warned that refugee numbers could reach 1.1 million within months, in what has become an increasingly radicalized civil war in the nation of almost 21 million.
Most of the anti-Assad rebels are Sunni Muslims, while the ruling clan and many of its most fervent supporters are from the Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
EU Agrees to Send ‘Non-Lethal’ Aid to Syrian Opposition
- Syria ‘Scud-type’ missile said to kill 20 in Aleppo (news.yahoo.com)
The use of what opposition activists said was a large missile of the same type as Russian-made Scuds against an Aleppo residential district came after rebels overran army bases over the past two months from which troops had fired artillery.
Opposition activists also reported fighting near the town of Nabak on the Damascus-Homs highway, another route vital for supplying forces in the capital loyal to Assad, whose family has ruled Syria since the 1960s.
- Brahimi Urges Syria’s Government, Opposition to Meet at UN Offices (voanews.com)
The leader of Syria’s exiled opposition coalition, Mouaz al-Khatib, has said he would be willing to meet Syria’s ceremonial vice president Farouk al-Sharaa to discuss a peaceful departure of the Assad government. Khatib’s Syrian National Coalition also has offered to talk to other government representatives not directly involved in Mr. Assad’s violent crackdown on the revolt.
Washington has supported Syrian opposition calls for Mr. Assad to step down and be held accountable for alleged atrocities committed by his forces. Moscow has repeatedly rejected Western demands for the ouster of Mr. Assad, a longtime Russian ally and buyer of Russian arms.
Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said Sunday the government has offered “all necessary guarantees” to make a dialogue possible and urged the Syrian people to join the process. But, he reiterated warnings that Damascus will exclude any opposition figure it perceives as “pretending” to represent the national interest while secretly supporting alleged “foreign agendas.”
- Latest News Syria: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (latestnewssyria.wordpress.com)
“What is happening in Syria and Mali is a direct echo of the events in Libya,” he said.
Lavrov pointed out that the Russian clear position towards Syria and Iran is based on analysis of facts and reality, and that it’s hard to argue against it in form and pragmatism.
- Assad optimistic Syria crisis can be resolved: Arslan (dailystar.com.lb)
Syrian President Bashar Assad has expressed optimism that a political solution can be reached to end the nearly two-year-old crisis in Syria, Lebanese Democratic Party leader Talal Arslan said in remarks published Tuesday.Assad “stressed that there is progress in the political process and that he is hopeful and optimistic despite all the circumstances,” Arslan told the local As-Safir newspaper.