World Bulletin / News Desk
The head of the United Nations monitors in Syria said on Monday violence was intensifying across the country, blaming both President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebel fighters for ignoring the plight of civilians.
"It is clear that violence is increasing in many parts of Syria," General Babacar Gaye, head of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria, told journalists in Damascus.
"The indiscriminate use of heavy weapons by the government and targeted attacks by the opposition in urban centres are inflicting a heavy toll on innocent civilians.
"I deeply regret that none of the parties has prioritised the needs of civilians."
Activists say more than 18,000 people, including soldiers, rebels and civilians, have been killed since the start of the Syrian uprising against Assad in March last year.
Assad's forces are battling to regain control of the biggest city, Aleppo, from rebel fighters who went on the offensive last month, seizing districts of the capital and the northern commercial hub, as well as several border crossings.
Free Syrian Army rebels also control towns and villages in a wide swathe of territory near the northern border with Turkey.
Assad's forces have hit back, regaining much of Damascus and bombarding opposition strongholds in and around the capital. Residents reported overnight shelling from the Qassioun mountains overlooking north Damascus into Jobar neighbourhood.
Activists also reported shelling in the northern Damascus suburb of Tell, which they say has been under rebel control for two weeks, and in Muadamiya suburb, where they said four men had been found executed after troops pulled out.
State television said the army was battling rebels in the city of Homs and had attacked "terrorist lairs" in the town of Talbiseh to the north.
The mandate for the U.N. monitors, whose original mission was to observe an April ceasefire that never took hold, expires on Aug. 19. Their numbers have already been cut to a third because violence has made it impossible for them to move around.
"But the remaining 100 observers, along with our civilian colleagues, will operate till the last minute," Gaye said.
"I call on the parties to cease military operations and come to the (negotiating) table," he said, adding that he and his colleagues had delivered the same appeal in person to the government and the Syrian opposition abroad.
Ferguson has been on edge for weeks as residents await the grand jury's decision.
Iran and the six major powers - the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany - decided on Monday to extend the talks until June 30, 2015
Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has killed roughly 5,420 people, mostly in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Herzog said Netanyahu had failed on the economic and security levels, and also in terms of the peace process with the Palestinians.
Hagel resigned from his post following a difficult tenure in which he reportedly struggled to fit in with the U.S. administration’s national security team.
The election monitoring project, "Eye on Elections," said its observers had documented 68 violations during the first round of elections
Parliament speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari said that discussions over the motion would be postponed until conflicts between MPs were settled
Darren Wilson, who may be indictmented as early as Monday, married a fellow Ferguson, Missouri, police officer, says the New York Times.
Author of article that led to jailing of website editor says law is 'excuse for repression'
Israeli officials came to examine the homes and take measurements in what appeared to be a prelude to demolition operations, according to eyewitnesses.
Under the accord, Iran agreed to halt its most sensitive nuclear work in exchange for some sanctions easing.
It is unclear where next month's talks will take place, he said, noting that during the extension period, Tehran will be able to continue to access around $700 million per month in sanctions relief.
Abu Jameh, head of the so-called Palestinian Salafist Scholars Association, is the third individual to have his Egyptian citizenship revoked since President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi assumed power in June.
Jens Stoltenberg calls on Alliance members to 'face up to challenges' of 'violence and extremism'
A number of public buses and private vehicles were swept away by floods in different parts of southwestern Morocco
South Africa and Palestine are expected to sign several agreements, including one for the establishment of a new joint cooperation commission.