Syria fighting rages as Iran calls for halt to violence

Syrian troops shelled several districts in Aleppo and clashed with rebels on Tuesday, as Damascus ally Iran proposed a simultaneous halt to the violence and a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Clashes erupted in Bustan al-Qasr in the southwest and in nearby Izaa as both districts were shelled, residents of Syria's second city said, also reporting fighting further south in Sukari.

At a hospital in Shaar district, an AFP correspondent saw a couple arrive with their baby, its head bleeding, after their neighbourhood of Sheikh Fares had come under tank fire.

They were in tears as they tried to console their two other children. Other people arrived, their faces ashen from the dust of rubble, as several pickup trucks of rebels arrived with wounded men.

A rebel who identified himself as Abu Mansur congratulated one of his men saying: "He killed 10 soldiers before he was wounded for the first time."

Inside the rudimentary hospital, which has been hit several times by rocket fire, the correspondent saw bloodstained floors and towels in hallways.

At least four civilians were killed in shelling of Sukari, Sakhur and Hanano districts, while two rebels and three civilians were killed elsewhere in the northern city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The two-month-old battle for Aleppo remains very fluid, with both sides claiming gains in a guerrilla war, Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

In Damascus, at least seven people were killed in shelling as the army tried to push into the southern districts of Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, Qadam and Assali, the Observatory said.

It later reported that residents found 20 bodies in Al-Hajar Al-Aswad.

Troops also bombed parts of the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, killing 10 civilians in one town alone.

Another nine, including six women and two children, were killed in shelling in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The Observatory gave a toll of at least 65 civilians, nine rebels and 12 soldiers killed on Tuesday, on top of the more than 27,000 people it says have been killed since the uprising erupted in March 2011. The United Nations says more than 20,000 have died.

Iran's proposal for a halt to the violence emerged at a meeting in Cairo on Monday of the Syria "contact group" to which it, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey belong, Tehran's official IRNA news agency said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi appealed for "a simultaneous halt in clashes and violence by the sides in Syria, (and) insisted on a peaceful solution without foreign intervention and a halt to financial, military and training support for the Syrian opposition," IRNA reported.

He also suggested that observers from the countries could "monitor the process of stopping the violence in Syria," IRNA added.

Last month, the United Nations withdrew its own observers after both sides failed to adhere to an April ceasefire to which they had committed.

Salehi is due Wednesday in Damascus for talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, a Syrian government source said.

Iran's strong support for Bashar al-Assad contrasts with the positions of the other three members of the contact group, who are all demanding that Assad step down.

Saudi Arabia, absent from Monday's talks, has barred Syrians from entering the country to perform the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage, Syrian state media said, marking the latest break between the two nations.

-- 'Dramatic escalation in attacks on civilians' --

---------------------------------------------------

As the killing continues, the head of a UN commission investigating rights abuses in Syria said they had soared dramatically in recent weeks and that the UN Security Council should take "appropriate action" against war criminals.

"Gross violations of human rights have grown in number, in pace and in scale," Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said on Monday, adding that Assad's regime and rebels, to a lesser extent, had committed war crimes.

Robert Serry, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, echoed similar views as he briefed the Security Council, saying: "Indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas by government forces with heavy weapons, tanks and air assets has increased."

And Human Rights Watch called on the Security Council to refer the conflict to the International Criminal Court.

Meanwhile, Turkish media reported that Syrian troops and rebels clashed on Tuesday for control of the Tall al-Abyad border post with Turkey.

A Turkish diplomatic source contacted by AFP confirmed the clashes and said some shelling had hit inside Turkish territory, but did not indicate if there were any victims or damage.

In other developments, UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was welcomed by some 1,300 Syrians at the Altinozu refugee camp in Turkey's Hatay province near the Syrian border, amid anti-regime chants like "Free Syria! We will fight till freedom!"

But in northern Jordan, some 200 refugees threw stones at his motorcade as he left the Zaatari camp.

"They said they were angry because he met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and tried to give him a chance to kill more people, according to them," a Jordanian security official said.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • FordPH Launches the All-New Mustang
    FordPH Launches the All-New Mustang

    Ford Philippines launched the all-new Mustang in a rock concert held at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, last week .  The All-New Mustang is the sixth generation since Ford  launched the first model in April 17, 1964. “The all-new Mustang represents the very best of Ford and its arrival marks the latest chapter of the iconic muscle car’s rich legacy, crafted with a more contemporary look and feel.  With a history spanning more than 50 years, this iconic car is at the heart and soul of Ford and …

  • China maritime tensions dominate Southeast Asia summit
    China maritime tensions dominate Southeast Asia summit

    By Manuel Mogato and Praveen Menon KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Southeast Asian leaders edged closer to open criticism of China's land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea at a regional summit on Monday, as the Philippines drew the ire of Beijing which called its objections to the work "unreasonable". The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Kuala Lumpur, which was supposed to showcase the 10-member bloc's progress towards economic integration, was overshadowed by the …

  • Halt Indonesia drug executions until graft claims probed: Australia
    Halt Indonesia drug executions until graft claims probed: Australia

    Australia urged Indonesia Monday to wait before executing two men on drugs offences until a corruption investigation into the judges that sentenced them was completed. "Bali Nine" drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan could face the firing squad within days, along with others from Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and an Indonesian prisoner. "I should point out that Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran's lawyers are pursuing action before the Constitutional Court in Indonesia," Bishop told ABC …

  • The ‘All You Need’ 2015 Isuzu D-MAX launched
    The ‘All You Need’ 2015 Isuzu D-MAX launched

    Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) just recently introduced the 2015 Isuzu D-MAX pick-up truck at the Clark International Raceway to show that their pick-up model can conquer any kind of terrain.The high-end LS variant and standard LT 4x4 is now equipped with a more powerful engine, the 4JK1-TC (Hi) 2.5-liter engine which with Common Rail Direct Injection and an intercooled Variable Geometry System (VGS) turbocharger. IPC also introduced a new standard ride variant, the LT-X 4x2 manual …

  • Limited Edition Honda CR-V and Jazz now available
    Limited Edition Honda CR-V and Jazz now available

    If you’ve always wanted to be part of an exclusive group of car owners, now might be the time for you to consider getting a Honda CR-V or Jazz.  Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) just came out with their limited edition All New Jazz and New CR-V. …

  • ToyotaPH hit its highest monthly sales last March
    ToyotaPH hit its highest monthly sales last March

    Toyota Motors Philippines hit its highest monthly sales to date last March, registering 10,237 units sold.  This recent CAMPI report puts Toyota’s market share at 43.5% last month. …

  • VolkswagenPH launches Child Safety Initiative
    VolkswagenPH launches Child Safety Initiative

    Volkswagen Philippines just  launched the VW Child Safety Initiative (CSI) campaign which aims to support child safety on Philippine roads at the just concluded Manila International Auto Show (MIAS). The World Health Organization’s road safety facts show about 1.24 million die each year globally as a result of vehicle related accidents. Child restraint systems like child seats and booster seats also reduce risk for children by about 70% for infants and upto 80% for small children. This …

  • Pacquiao pleads for Indonesia to spare death row Filipina
    Pacquiao pleads for Indonesia to spare death row Filipina

    World boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao took time out Monday from final preparations for his $400 million megafight with Floyd Mayweather to plead for the life of a Filipina on death row in Indonesia. Pacquiao, a national hero in the Philippines, added his voice to a chorus of global opposition led by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the executions of a group of eight foreign drug convicts, including compatriot Mary Jane Veloso. The eight-division world champion, who will face …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options