Syria forces storm northern areas, Annan, al-Assad to meet again
Syrian government troops stormed areas in the restive northern province of Idlib on Sunday, as UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan was due to hold a second round of talks with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, DPA reported.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that security and army forces had stormed a village in Jisr al-Shughur city and engaged in search-and-arrest operations.
Fresh clashes between government forces and Free Syrian Army rebels had began on Saturday in the province's most restive areas.
According to activists, more than 60 dissidents were killed in Saturday's fighting alone.
News from Syria cannot be independently verified as the government bars foreign media and humanitarian groups from restive areas.
Also on Saturday, Annan held inconclusive talks with al-Assad as part of diplomatic efforts to end the country's year-long bloodshed.
After the meeting, al-Assad ruled out any political solution for as long as "armed terrorist groups" continued to operate in the country.
A United Nations statement issued in Damascus described the talks as "candid and comprehensive" and said that Annan had expressed "grave concern at the situation in Syria." Annan also urged the Syrian president to take concrete steps to end the current crisis.
Annan was to head to Qatar after his new meeting with al-Assad.