7 dead as clashes continue in Syria

0
69

Clashes in the restive Syrian city of Homs killed three civilians, while four pro-regime militiamen died in Idlib province on Saturday, a human rights group said. “At least three civilians were killed by gunfire and heavy machinegun fire in Homs,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
In the northwestern province of Idlib, near the border with Turkey, “four (Shabiha) militiamen loyal to the regime were killed by suspected deserters in the town of Saraqeb,” added the Britain-based Observatory. On Friday, Syrian troops killed at least 23 people when demonstrators took to the streets denouncing “despots and tyrants,” as world powers cast doubt on the regime’s commitment to a peace deal agreed with the Arab League.
The plan calls for an end to violence, the release of those detained, the withdrawal of the army from urban areas and free movement for observers and the media, as well as talks between the regime and opposition. Members of the UN Human Rights Council said they seek to “shine a spotlight” on violations in Syria as a UN commission of inquiry prepared to file later this month a report on the violence-wracked country.
Meanwhile, Damascus on Saturday strongly condemned Washington after the US State Department advised Syrians against surrendering following an amnesty for those who give up weapons. “The American administration disclosed again its blatant interference in Syria’s internal affairs, and its policy which supports killing, in addition to its funding of the terrorist groups in Syria,” SANA state news agency said citing a foreign ministry official.
Syria’s interior ministry announced an amnesty on Friday for people who surrender their weapons between Saturday and November 12 in a concession to mark the Eidul Azha feast, state television reported. The State Department on Friday advised Syrians against surrendering to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. “I wouldn’t advise anybody to turn themselves in to regime authorities at the moment,” said spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, adding Assad’s regime had so far failed to live up to a deal to end eight months of violence struck on Wednesday.
“This would be about the fourth amnesty that they’ve offered since I took this job about five months ago,” she told reporters. “So we’ll see if it has any more traction than it’s had in the past.” SANA, citing the ministry official, said Syria “condemns these irresponsible statements which only aim at inciting sedition, supporting the acts of killing and the terrorism practiced by the armed groups against the Syrian citizens.”
“The Syrian government calls on the international community to stand against these policies which contradict with the provisions of the international law and the UN Security Council’s resolutions related to combating terrorism and financing it,” added the English-language report. Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi warned on Saturday that the failure of a deal brokered by his organisation to end violence in Syria would be “catastrophic” for the country and region.
“The failure of the Arab solution will have catastrophic consequences for the situation in Syria and the region,” he said in a statement, while calling for an immediate end to the bloodshed. The statement was issued after Arabi met Burhan Ghalioun, the Paris-based leader of the dissident Syrian National Council. Arabi “called on the Syrian government to take immediate measures to implement the Arab plan, to which it committed itself,” the statement said.
The plan, agreed on Wednesday, calls for an end to violence, the release of those detained, the withdrawal of the army from urban areas and free movement for observers and the media, as well as talks between the regime and opposition.