Syrian warplanes kill 18 in northern town, UN envoy worried

Beirut, Sept 3: The Syrian state unleashed its air power once again on Monday, killing at least 18 people in a town in northern Syria, activists said while the new UN envoy to the violence-torn country, Lakhdar Brahimi, admitted that brokering peace to end the nation's civil war was a very tough challenge.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees said the airstrikes targetted a residential town in the town of al-Bab, located about 30 kilometres from the Turkish border. According to other sources, however, the death toll was 25.

The Syrian uprising, which had begun against the tyrannical regime of President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Mar 2011 in a peaceful way, transformed into a major civil strife met by brutal crackdown by the government forces. Well-placed sources said at least 23,000 people have been massacred so far. Women and children have also been brutally killed.

According to the activist groups, some 5,000 people were killed last month itself, which is the highest ever registered since the upheaval spread.

Monday's violence spread across Syria, including suburbs of capital Damascus, eastern Deir el-Zour, Daraa in the south and Idlib and Aleppo in the north. A roadside bomb exploded in the suburb near the capital, injuring several people, state media and activists said.

Brahimi, who took over as the envoy to Syria from former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, said his predecessor had done everything possible in Syria although he failed to see an end to the conflict despite promoting a six-point peace plan. Brahimi, the 78-year-old Algerian diplomat, who had served as the UN special representative in Afghanistan and Iraq earlier, took over in mid-August.

Brahimi also said that he discussed the matter with Annan and said his way of working would be similar to that of his predecessor.

Information Minister Omran al-Zoebi said that Syria would give Brahimi all possible assistance in carrying out his work. However, the Assad regime had made similar statements when Annan took over, but violated its commitments throughout. The minister, however, said countries like Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are opposed to the Assad regime, must stop sending weapons to Syrian rebels and training them across the border. According to him, Brahimi's success would depend on that to a great extent.

OneIndia News

(With agency inputs)

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