» 03/17/2012, 00.00
SYRIA - UN
Bombing in Damascus kills civilians and security forces
The two car bombs exploded outside a police headquarters and a center of aviation. Yesterday from Geneva Kofi Annan held a videoconference with the UN Security Council. So far the answers to his Syrian mediation are "disappointing". Annan hopes to involve all the Security Council in an attempt to pacify the country by stopping the violence on both sides - the army and rebels - and creating a process of democratization in Syria.
Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The state television has reported that several civilians and law enforcement officers were killed in the Syrian capital today in two explosions. The initial hypothesis is that these are two car bombings.
The locations of the two attacks are the building of the Directorate of Criminal Police and an information center for aviation. One of the two explosions occurred between Baghdad street and al-Qaasa district and the other occurred in the district of Douar al- Jamarik.
None of this information can be verified because of the restrictions on the presence of independent journalists in Syria.
The deadly attack comes two days on from the anniversary of the eruption of violence in the country which has so far claimed 8 thousand lives, also marked by several clashes between rebels and the army in many cities of Syria. President Assad insists that these attacks are fuelled by "armed gangs" and "terrorists" attempting to destabilize the country.
Meanwhile, yesterday in Geneva, the UN -Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan, on his return from Syria, had a video conference with the UN Security Council. Annan has a mandate to find a peaceful solution for the transition in Syria and in recent days met with Assad and with the rebels, as well as different high profile personalities.
The former UN secretary says his priorities are to stop the violence and killings on both sides, obtain channels for humanitarian aid and launch a political process towards a democratic Syria.
To the journalists who asked him about the responses of Assad and the rebels to his proposals, Annan said that so far the only answers are "disappointing". He hopes to push the Security Council to speak "with one voice" to force Damascus to accept the peace process. So far at the Security Council, Russia and China have vetoed all resolutions condemning (only) Damascus.
10/04/2012 SYRIA - UN
Moscow wants Damascus to implement Kofi Annan plan. Opposition and U.S. skeptical
As of today there should be withdrawal of troops and armed forces from the city. But there were bombs in Harasta and Mariah. Kofi Annan is in Turkey on the way to Tehran, to ask Iran for cooperation for the peace plan for Syria. Yesterday some Syrian refugees in Turkey hit, Lebanese cameraman killed.
03/04/2012 SYRIA - UN
Assad promises an end to violence by April 10, according to the UN peace plan
Confirmed by Kofi Annan. If Assad stops the violence the rebels must also lay down their arms. But in recent days the rebels have received financial support from Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries. U.S. ambassador to the UN skeptical.
03/08/2012 SYRIA - UN
UN Divided: Kofi Annan steps down as war intensifies in Syria
For the former UN secretary general no cooperation from the Syrian government or opposition. But above all, division in the Security Council and the international community who trade accusations and are partisan in their support. Yesterday 130 people were killed in conflicts in Damascus and Aleppo. Today, the Arab League proposes a resolution to the General Assembly of the United Nations to criticize Syria's threats to use chemical weapons. The military escalation of Damascus and the rebels supported by the countries of the Security Council.
01/03/2012 SYRIA - UN
Kofi Annan for a peaceful solution, end violence on both sides
The former UN secretary general has not yet received the ok to go to Syria. The UN seems to be close to the Vatican's positions, underlining a peaceful (and not military) solution, condemning the violence on both sides and not only that of Damascus. The bombings continue in Homs, a city of enormous strategic importance. Even China and Russia seem to be open to humanitarian corridors.
Ceasefire between regime and rebels appears to be holding
Syrian Human Rights Observatory chief reports calm across the country. UN- and Arab League-sponsored ceasefire came into effect at 6 am (local time). In case of violation, Syrian military and the Free Syrian Army threaten to resume hostilities. Clashes were reported yesterday in Homs and other Syrian cities.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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