INTERNATIONAL peace envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, Monday held talks with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on the “worrying” situation in the country, as Damascus fended off accusations its forces bombed a bakery killing dozens of civilians.
This came as jihadists overran large parts of an Alawite village in the central Syrian province of Hama yesterday in a fighting that killed about 30 combatants, a monitoring group said.
Alongside other radical Islamist groups, Al-Nusra Front seized parts of the village of Maan, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It added that about 11 rebel fighters and 20 regime troops were killed in the clashes.
Meanwhile, activists accused President Bashar al-Assad’s regime of unleashing killer gas bombs in the central city of Homs, even as Russia downplayed fears that Syrian forces would use chemical weapons against the armed opposition.
“I had the honour to meet the president and as usual we exchanged views on the many steps to be taken in the future,” Brahimi told reporters at his Damascus hotel, a day after he arrived to launch a fresh bid to end the conflict roiling Syria.
The UN-Arab League envoy said the Syrian crisis was “always worrying”, with more than 44,000 people killed since the uprising against Assad’s regime erupted in March last year, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of medics and activists on the ground.
Brahimi expressed hope that “all parties are in favour of a solution that draws Syrian people together.”
“Assad expressed his views on the situation and I told him about my meetings with leaders in the region and outside,” said the veteran Algerian diplomat who took over his present task from former UN chief, Kofi Annan.
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