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.
- Foreign Ministry says description of 1915 events as genocide amounts to 'religious discrimination'
Weapons sent to Syrian opposition by US and Saudi governments stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives, sold on black market, according to American and Jordanian officials
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel's naval blockade of Gaza will remain in force after the deal is signed.
Israeli PM Netanyahu says deal for normalization of relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv would have enormous impact on Israeli economy
A number of bombs, ten minutes apart have killed several people in a border village of Lebanon
No humanitarian aid can be reached to Syria's Manbij city under PYD siege as residents are forced to join the armed group are being threatened with hunger
-Some Gulf countries suspect that the Houthi insurgency is supported by Shiite Iran
The recent legislation is a form of collective punishment towards Jerusalem and its youth, rights groups say.
Saleh is an ally of Houthis, who overran capital Sanaa and other provinces in late 2014
Kurdish and Iranian officials in talks to transfer as much as 250,000 barrels per day of Kurdish oil to Iran.
Police arrest 4 Palestinians after clash over non-Muslim visits to Al-Aqsa during Ramadan
Russian and Assad regime air strikes have killed dozens of people in eastern Syria
The leader of Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah says the group will continue fighting against terrorists in Syria's northern province of Aleppo and that the party will send more troops to Syria's Aleppo
Both Iran and Russia have expressed their elation over the shock exit of the UK with Moscow mayor declaring, "‘There won’t be anyone to so zealously defend sanctions against us"
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, was implicated in mass protests against the re-election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009
Clashes in several areas across Yemen on Friday killed 22 Shiite rebels and 11 members of pro-government forces, military officials said, after ...