A Syrian opposition group says explosions in the province of Daraa
killed 20 people Tuesday, as shelling and heavy fighting was reported
throughout the country.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told VOA by phone
that there were "clashes and bombardments in almost every province,"
from Daraa in the south to Aleppo in the north. A spokesman, Mataz
Suheil, reported heavy shelling in the western side of Aleppo city and
five unidentified bodies found in the Zahra district.
Syria's state-run SANA news agency said Tuesday the military had killed
a group of terrorists and destroyed "explosives factories" in Aleppo.
One Kurdish militia member was killed by Turkish troops firing across
the border Tuesday. Another opposition group, the Local Coordination
Committees, said Syrian government forces were blasting rebel
strongholds outside Damascus.
Meanwhile, Russia urged NATO not to intervene in the Syrian conflict or
set up buffer zones between government forces and opposition fighters.
In Moscow Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov
called on NATO members not to "seek pretexts" for military intervention
or "introduce initiatives, such as humanitarian corridors or buffer
Russia and China have vetoed three U.N. Security Council resolutions
condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown against unrest.
Lebanese newspaper Al-Diyar reported Tuesday that Assad flew by
helicopter from Damascus to battle-torn Aleppo as he ordered about
30,000 more troops into the battle there. The report has not been
confirmed by Syrian media, and opposition activists told VOA they could
not verify it.
The Syrian Observatory reported that 210 people were killed across Syria
a day earlier. It said five officers were among the 40 government troops
killed Monday, an unusually high death toll for troops, which the Syrian
Observatory said demonstrates the conflict's escalation.
A U.N. spokesman Monday said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed
to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem for the government to "show
compassion to its own people." The two met on the sidelines of the U.N.
General Assembly in New York.
During a speech to the General Assembly, Moualem accused the United
States, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey of supporting "terrorism"
in Syria by providing arms and money. He also characterized calls for
Assad to step down as "blatant interference" in Syrian domestic affairs.