World Bulletin / News Desk
Kofi Annan is due to hold talks on Monday with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who said U.S. political support for "terrorists" was hindering the peace envoy's plan to end 16 months of bloodshed.
Assad also accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of supplying the rebels trying to overthrow him with arms and other support.
"We know that (Annan) is coming up against countless obstacles but his plan should not be allowed to fail, it is a very good plan," Assad told German television channel Das Erste.
"The biggest obstacle is that many countries do not even want this plan to succeed so they offer political support and continue to provide the terrorists in Syria with arms and money," Assad said, according to a transcript in German of the interview conducted in English on July 5.
Annan arrived on Sunday at the Dama Rose hotel in the Syrian capital, where U.N. observers have been staying since suspending their patrols because of an increase in the level of violence.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday that Syrian opposition forces were growing more effective and the sooner the violence ended, the better were the chances of sparing Syria's government a "catastrophic assault" by rebel fighters.
While Assad has faced sanctions and international condemnation over his crackdown on dissent, major Western and Arab powers have shied away from direct military action.
Turkey has reinforced its border and scrambled fighter aircraft several times since Syria shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet on June 22 over what Damascus said were Syrian territorial waters in the Mediterranean. Ankara said the incident occurred in international air space.
More than 30 people killed
"The sooner there can be an end to the violence and a beginning of a political transition process, not only will fewer people die, but there is a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault that would be very dangerous not only to Syria but to the region," Clinton told a Tokyo news conference.
She appeared to be referring to the possibility of Syrian rebels launching such an assault on state institutions rather than to any outside intervention.
"There is no doubt that the opposition is getting more effective in their defence of themselves and in going on the offence against the Syrian military and the Syrian government's militias. So, the future ... should be abundantly clear to those who support the Assad regime," Clinton added.
"The sand is running out of the hour glass."
Syria's navy fired live missiles from ships and helicopters over the weekend, in an exercise aiming at demonstrating its ability to "defend Syria's shores against any possible aggression", state media said.
More than 30 people were killed on Sunday during a government bombardment and clashes between Syrian forces and Free Syrian Army rebels fighting to oust Assad, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Observatory, said residents of al-Sharifa in the wider Deir al-Zor province were reporting that rebels had for the first time taken over a tank and were using it to attack army positions.
The rebels have gained confidence in recent weeks, staging bolder attacks, holding pockets of territory across the country and clashing with troops only a few miles from the presidential palace in Damascus.
Requesting anonymity, the diplomat told The Anadolu Agency that Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra presented the initiative on Thursday during an Arab foreign ministers meeting in Egypt's resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
An HH-60 Sikorsky helicopter flew from Djibouti to recover the Saudi airmen in international waters.
Arab ground forces may possibly be needed in the next operation against the Houthi, whilst 4 tribesman were wounded during clashes with Houthi.
"The Germanised European Union is literally choking our country and tightening week by week the noose around the economy," he said.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier says negotiators 'close to end game' after years of talks.
Addressing the 26th Arab summit in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Abbas called on Arab leaders to protect the ancient city and support the resistance of its people.
The official told Reuters that Yemeni authorities had received information that Iranian experts had brought in parts for the missiles at the base, located south of Sanaa.
A large number of tents were burnt in the fire but without any casualties.
The court accused all four people of forming a cell with the aim of spying on Egypt for Israel, a judicial source said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Nusra Front and its allies have captured the north-western city. Calling themselves 'The Army of Conquest', rebels fighting for Idlib are led by al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate.
The resignation came one day after President Uhuru Kenyatta received an EACC report, which cited the names of several ministers and government officials in corruption allegations.
Spokesman Idowu told AA the situation was being addressed
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The UN chief said he "repeatedly condemned the attempts by the Houthis and former president [Ali Abdullah] Saleh to undermine political agreements by military force."
The AIIB has been seen as a significant setback to U.S. efforts to extend its influence in the Asia Pacific region to balance China's growing financial clout and assertiveness.
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