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.
Afghanistan's new President Ashraf Ghani's has decided to re-open an inquiry into the bank collapse.
The Muslim Brotherhood had earlier turned down an invitation to cooperate with the commission, citing the panel's earlier "disregard" for the group's point of view.
"In the last 24 hours a bomb disposal squad has detonated six bombs in various localities of Peshawar," Shafqat Malik, a senior police officer, told reporters at the site of the blast.
Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona once told reporters he is the "number one fan of the Palestinian people."
According to Bulgarian law, the Turkish language is just an elective course for Turkish citizens and it is banned during the election campaign.
Ahead of a visit to Washington by Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday to meet his American counterpart, his ministry said three Rafale fighter jets and an anti-aircraft warship would be sent to the Gulf to support Iraqi government forces against ISIL.
The Taliban claimed responsibility and its reclusive leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, called the recent election a "publicity stunt".
A stock exchange official said the package was discovered mid-morning at the building's entrance but did not affect the trading session, which continued without interruption.
Pro-Haftar air commander Saqr al-Garrouchi said the blast had occurred in a residential area near the airbase.
A cyberattack by extremist Buddhists is the latest in series in response to Irrawaddy’s coverage of religious violence.
By omitting Arab names from the list, Israel's Population, Immigration and Border Authority hid the fact that the most popular boy's name in Israel for that year was actually Mohammed.
Paying little attention to the sliding fortunes of Russia's weakening economy, Russian president Vladimir Putin listed Russia's budget triumphs and the growth rates in the industrial and agricultural sectors.
Heavy clashes between ISIL and Kurdish YPG fighters had been continuing on Kobani's eastern and southeastern outskirts for the last 36 hours.
Reformist members demand the resignation of executive office members, the elimination of what they call "crisis elements" and the amendment of the group's internal bylaws.
The three Gulf States collectively pulled their ambassadors from Qatar in March, claiming Doha had violated a 2013 security pact and interfered in their domestic affairs.
Juan del Granado, candidate for Movement Without Fear (MSM) denounced the issue as “very serious” and demanded that the names be immediately withdrawn from the register.