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.
Child labor becomes increasingly common in Syria due to the deepening of the crisis
The death toll in attacks carried out by ISIL in North Sinai rose to 50 on Wednesday, security sources said.
Border clashes between Pakistani and Afghan security forces resulted into death of a policeman
Israel says around 40 Hamas member were detained around the city of Nablus in recent months
Security sources and witnesses said two explosions heard in Egypt's Rafah, Gaza border province.
The report prepared by UN over Gaza may be used as evidence of war crimes by Israel
The US has said that despite the challenges of Turkey, a buffer zone will not be supported.
A report by the UN has revealed that more than 135,000 asylum seekers have sought refuge in the EU in the first half of 2015.
According to Syrian Kurdish rebels they successfully re-took Tel Abyad after defeating ISIL
Staffan de Mistura will brief Ban Ki-moon next week on the current peace prospects in Syria
Attacks on military checkpoints in North Sinai leave at least 30 soldiers killed
A gunfight between Resistance Brigade and locals taken place in Saadiyat Tuesday night
Around 1,200 prisoners escaped during clashes at a jail in central Yemen on Tuesday,
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon aims to end the bloodshed in Syria already.
U.S. State Department says deadline for completion of negotiations put back to July 7.
Escalating violence in Yemen has devastated the country's health system and exposed millions of children to the threat of preventable diseases including measles, pneumonia and diarrhoea, UNICEF said.