World / Middle East

Syria blames Turkey, Gulf States for bloodshed

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-10-31 09:38

DAMASCUS - The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday blamed Turkey and Gulf States for the incessant bloodshed in the unrest-ravaged country, adding that such countries have undermined the mission of international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the ministry said Turkey and some Gulf States, in reference to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have not committed themselves to making the UN-backed cease-fire in Syria successful, "which makes them bear the responsibility for the persistent bloodletting in Syria."

The role of those countries, in financing, arming and harboring the armed groups, undermines the mission of Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League joint special envoy to Syria.

Syria has for long accused Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar of rendering all kinds of support to the armed rebels in Syria. Those countries have overtly announced their support to the rebel fighters, who seem to have grown more resourceful recently.

The four-day truce for Eid al-Adha proposed by Brahimi was torn apart by deadly airstrikes and car bomb attacks, with the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition pointing fingers at each other.

Brahimi, a veteran Algerian diplomat, traveled to Beijing on Monday after visiting many other heavyweight players with the aim of discussing the Syrian issue. He is reportedly mulling a fresh proposal on initiating a political dialogue between Syria's two warring sides after the failure of the cease-fire.

As part of the ongoing violence in Syria, an army general was assassinated on Tuesday by a "terrorist" group in a district of the capital Damascus, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

Gen. Abdullah al-Khalidi, a fighter pilot, had been shot down in Rukin Addien district while getting out of his car in Assad- Addien Street, SANA said, adding that the armed men appeared to have been monitoring the killed officer.

Many army officers have been reported either killed or kidnapped as the fighting against the rebels has been gaining momentum over the past months of crisis in the unrest-torn country.

Also, Syria's state-media said the army clashed with armed groups in a number of Syrian areas, adding that the army has managed to "purge" the Slaiman al-Halabi district in northern Aleppo of armed rebels.

Meanwhile, the opposition activists reported airstrikes by Syrian warplanes on a number of hotspots near Damascus on Tuesday, adding that as many as 134 people have been killed so far. Still, activists' accounts cannot be independently checked.

More than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have reportedly died in Syria since the country's crisis began some 20 months ago. A further 2.5 million Syrians urgently need humanitarian aid, and over 340,000 have crossed the border to Syria's neighboring countries -- Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, according to UN estimates.

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