Syrian jets bomb rebels despite UN ceasefire call

Syrian jets bomb rebels despite UN ceasefire call

Warplanes unleashed a wave of air raids on rebel belts in Syria's north Tuesday even as the UN appealed for a nationwide ceasefire during the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha AFP reported.

International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi issued the call for a truce as he travelled to Cairo as part of a regional tour to thrash out a possible solution to the conflict.

The morning air strikes around Maaret al-Numan were termed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as the "most violent" since insurgents captured the strategic town last week.

The warplanes dropped bombs in a bid to break a rebel blockade of a highway, which is preventing army reinforcements from reaching second city Aleppo, theatre of intense fighting for the past three months, the group said.

"The bombing is targeting the villages of Hish, Maarshamsha, Maarshamrin, Talmans and Deir al-Gharbi in the vicinity of Maaret al-Numan," the Observatory said, adding rebels were responding with anti-aircraft fire.

Maaret al-Numan is strategically located in the northwest on the highway linking Damascus to Aleppo.

As it attempts to subdue the insurgency in the north, the army is also engaged in an attempt to put down rebels at Eastern Ghuta, in the countryside outside Damascus.

Brahimi, the UN-Arab League envoy for Syria, has called for a ceasefire during the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, as the revolt is now in its 20th month with a death toll of more than 33,000.

Brahimi made his call as he shuttled between Syria's neighbours, which have been bitterly divided by the conflict along the confessional lines that have traditionally riven the Islamic world.

He was in Shiite-majority Iraq after talks in Shiite-ruled Iran, closest ally of the minority Alawite-dominated regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Last week, Brahimi visited Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the two Sunni-led states which have been the greatest champions of the Syrian opposition. And on Tuesday he was in Cairo where he was to meet Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi.

"Brahimi has appealed to the Iranian authorities to assist in achieving a ceasefire in Syria during the forthcoming Eid al-Adha, one of the holiest holidays celebrated by the Muslims around the world," a statement from the envoy said.

Eid al-Adha, which falls at the end of October, marks the climax of the annual hajj pilgrimage.

"He reiterated the call by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for a ceasefire and a halt to the flow of arms to both sides. A ceasefire, he said, would help create an environment that would allow a political process to develop."

Iran proposed to Brahimi a political transition supervised by Assad, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdolahian said, an idea unlikely to be acceptable to the opposition.

Tensions between Syria and Turkey have soared as Ankara and Damascus banned flights between the two countries after Ankara confiscated a cargo of radar equipment from a Syrian flight from Moscow last week.

On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated that the cargo contained "war equipment."

"There is no point in diverting and saying it is radar equipment. Radar equipment functions as war equipment anyway," he said.

Ties between the two nations have deteriorated since rebels seized large swathes of territory along the long Syria-Turkey border.

On 3 October, five Turkish civilians were killed by cross-border fire against the rebels that Syria charges are receiving arms from Gulf Arab states through Turkey.

The United States on Monday called on all Syria's neighbours to keep a careful watch over their airspace.

"Certainly we support the decision that Turkey has made in light of the apparent violation of their airspace by this aircraft," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

"We are encouraging all of Syria's neighbours to be vigilant with regard to how their airspace is used, particularly now that we have this concrete example."

Meanwhile the European Union imposed a new package of unilateral sanctions on Damascus on Monday, its 19th since the conflict erupted in March 2011.

But Western and European leaders are still facing an uphill task in getting Russia and China, key allies of Assad, on board. The two have repeatedly blocked action at the UN Security Council against the Assad regime.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday: "I can't say that we made any progress."

Inside Syria fighting raged with at least 151 people killed on Monday, including 78 civilians.

Israel reports 7,889 new COVID-19 cases, 613,286 in total
Israel reports 7,889 new COVID-19 cases, 613,286 in total
New coronavirus cases rise in France, third national lockdown feared
New coronavirus cases rise in France, third national lockdown feared
In upward revision, IMF sees Turkey growing at 6% in 2021
In upward revision, IMF sees Turkey growing at 6% in 2021
Loading Bars
Latest
Israel reports 7,889 new COVID-19 cases, 613,286 in total
New coronavirus cases rise in France, third national lockdown feared
Anglo Asian Mining plc to pay out dividends for 2020
Uzbekistan cancels number of restrictions introduced to counter spread of COVID-19
Volume of overdue loans up in Georgia
Kazakhstan Development Bank eyes supporting several modernization projects in 2021
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on January 27
Azerbaijan International Telecom company signs contract to buy software
In upward revision, IMF sees Turkey growing at 6% in 2021
Kyrgyzstan's Institute of Business Ombudsman, Economy Ministry sign memorandum of cooperation
Georgian Foreign Minister tests positive for Covid-19
Iran's foreign trade balance hits $59 billion in 10 months
Cities, villages to be established in liberated areas should be based on concept of “smart-city”, “smart-village" - President of Azerbaijan
War has shown many what Azerbaijan's potential is - President Aliyev
Internet in Azerbaijan is free – there is no censorship, no restrictions - President Aliyev
Reforms going on everywhere, reforms are inevitable, country faces new challenges - President of Azerbaijan
Government agencies, ministries and state-owned companies must follow my instructions to end - President Aliyev
We must always build our policy in such way that Azerbaijan's military potential and defense capabilities are always at high level - President Aliyev
We must create conditions for our talented young people to work in Azerbaijan - President Aliyev
When we launched satellites into orbit, some people asked why this was necessary - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan plays central role in region in field of communications and high technologies - President Aliyev
Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku is five-star airport - President of Azerbaijan
PACE rejects Armenia’s request on progress of monitoring procedure
We have largest fleet in Caspian Sea - President of Azerbaijan
As result of measures taken, Azerbaijan today is one of world's leading countries in field of transport - President Aliyev
Russia's Charge d'Affaires in Azerbaijan summoned to Azerbaijani MFA
Azerbaijan's Ecology Ministry talks development of entrepreneurship
FAO to start developing agriculture in liberated Azerbaijani lands soon
Demining of Azerbaijan's liberated lands continues (VIDEO)
Russia to directly participate in efforts to unblock economic, transport ties in S. Caucasus - Lavrov
Economy minister discloses share of non-oil sector in Azerbaijan's GDP
Azerbaijan starts preparation work on laying gas lines to liberated lands
Azerbaijan shows footage from Gubadly district's Damirchilar village (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iran welcomes interaction with Saudi Arabia
Iran can increase oil and gas extraction - National Iranian Oil Company
Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to fall in Iran
Oxford Institute for Energy Research names ways to improve oil, gas sector in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijani, Turkish FMs discuss regional co-op issues
Bulk of Kazakhstan’s imports of green vegetables falls on Uzbekistan
Georgia sees decline in COVID-19 cases since imposing restrictions
Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan plan to start construction of high-speed railroad
Ukrainian air company returns on Georgia's aviation market
Ministry discloses number of mines neutralized by Azerbaijani, Russian sappers in Karabakh (VIDEO)
Uzbekistan’s GDP per capita down in 2020
Oxford Institute for Energy Research talks options for Turkmen gas sector's development
Uzbekneftegaz reveals number of investment projects on increasing production efficiency
Kazakhstan’s QAZAQ AIR airline launching flights on one more route
Georgian aviation plant working on creation of military drone
Uzbek-Korean JV announces tender for installation and assembly services
GGF deepens its engagement with Georgian financial institutions
Number of passengers using railway transport in Azerbaijan increasing after eased quarantine
Kazakhstan to continue decreasing import dependence in food industry
Azerbaijani business entities modernize digital financial services amid COVID-19 pandemic
Lending to Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic increases
Iranian trucks start cargo transportation to Azerbaijan without transshipment
Azerbaijan confirms 551 more COVID-19 recoveries
Kazakhstan taking targeted measures to enhance investment competitiveness
Iran and Russia sign memorandum of cooperation on cybersecurity
Azerbaijan reveals volume of electricity generation from renewable energy sources in 2020
Russia and Iran open to discuss Karabakh issue
Number of bank accounts in Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan increased in 2020
Microsoft earnings in spotlight for signs of business recovery, Xbox growth
French engineering company involved in replacing Uzbekistan’s standards in electricity field
UNDP implements new grant program in Georgia
Azerbaijan's former minister of transport appointed to new position - Decree
Company of Turkmenistan’s SC announces volume of oil produced last year
Iran's South Pars gas production increases
Johnson & Johnson promises vaccine data "soon"
Azerbaijan discloses number of servicemen of engineering troops martyred in second Karabakh war
Kazakhstan to continue work on fishing industry development
Iran plans to use domestic ship building capacities
Iranian minister suggests parliament merge Energy and Oil Ministries into one
Azerbaijani delegation to participate in Iran Plast exhibition in Tehran
Clearing of mines, unexploded ordnance continuing in Azerbaijan's liberated Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VİDEO)
Iran's Rouhani opposes any changes to budget bill
"Great Responsibility" At Republic Day Parade: Bangladesh Contingent Chief
Direct air routes between Cambodia, India on the cards
`Vaccine Maitri' helps strengthen bilateral ties with Myanmar, says Indian envoy
COVID-19 vaccine developer CureVac plans five million share sale
EU exec to propose vaccine export registration by end of week
Azerbaijani ministry talks on nanotechnological innovations
Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Iran being held
Rates for some excisable goods increasing in Azerbaijan
All tobacco products may be included in list of excisable goods in Azerbaijan
Tax exemptions on wheat imports, sales may be extended in Azerbaijan
Colonel talks restored and built roads in liberated lands of Azerbaijan
FIG cancels holding Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Azerbaijan’s Baku
Thousands of hectares of cultivatable lands demined in Azerbaijan's liberated districts
Azerbaijani banks buy more foreign currency at CBA's auction
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 26
Sale of gold, silver in Azerbaijan may become tax-free
Azerbaijan Airlines increases flights number on Baku-Nakhchivan route
Access Bank eyes creating bank branches in Azerbaijani lands liberated from occupation
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan discloses revenues from 2020 agricultural export
Azerbaijani Nakhchivan's revenues from communication services rise
President Aliyev receives French Minister of State attached to Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan’s largest flow of tourists falls on Kyrgyzstan
Georgia sees increase in Domestic Producer Price Index for Industrial Products
Armenian Armed Forces blew up bridges, destroyed roads retreating during second Karabakh War
Gold price increases in Azerbaijan
All news