Syrian foreign minister to arrive in Moscow on April 10
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Syrian foreign minister to arrive in Moscow on April 10

Moscow : Russia | Apr 04, 2012 at 7:49 AM PDT
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Russia warns West it risks war over Syria, Iran

According to a diplomatic source in Moscow, the Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid al-Moallem, is due to arrive in Moscow on the 10th of this month.

April 10 is the deadline for the Syrian army and the opposition to halt military operations and withdraw their troops from population centers.

If clashes in Syria continue after April 10, the U.N. Security Council will consider a possibility of taking any necessary step ,said Monday the U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, whose country presides the Security Council.

"The Security Council should respond quickly and forcefully if the Syrian regime did not fulfill its promise", Susan Rice added

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: Moscow is contacting with the Syrian government every day. We are doing our best to take effective and quick steps in response to the plan by the international envoy Kofi Annan.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told TASS news that the Syrian National Council and national coordinating committees are slated to come to Moscow on April 17-18.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Moscow said that the opposition "will not beat" the government forces even if it was armed "to the teeth".

"It's clear as crystal, even if they armed the opposition to the teeth, it would not beat the Syrian army. We would then just see a bloodbath for many years, mutual destruction," stressed the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.

But on the ground, the popular opposition wants to show it does not give up. According to a video posted by militants, during a demonstration Tuesday night in Hama, activists wore a placard that read "Despite the bombing, nothing is dead in us, except fear."

The regime forces has intensified its operations against rebel strongholds despite his promise to Kofi Annan to withdraw its troops and tanks from urban centers until April 10. At least 80 people died in violence yesterday across Syria.

58 civilians were killed, including 20 in the region Taftanaz in Idleb province (northwest), following shelling and heavy firing from machine guns. The others died in clashes between soldiers and military dissidents, said the Syrian Observatory of Human rights.

15 civilians were also killed in military attacks against the city of Homs (center), it said. 18 soldiers were killed in Homs, Idleb and Deraa (south) in the fighting, and four deserters Idleb, the source said. 44 people died on Tuesday.

According to activists, heavy fighting broke out at dawn between rebels and army troops on the outskirts of Baba Amr, the rebel area taken on March 1 by the regime after a month of devastating bombardment.

Regime forces also launched assaults near the Jordanian border in the province of Deraa and towns around Idleb where an elderly man and a former political prisoner, Ahmad al-Othman was killed by fire from a tank on his car.

"The tanks stormed or bombed towns and villages and then returned to their bases, this does not mean that there are withdrawals," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The United Nations says Syrian regime forces have killed more than 9,000 people over the past 12 months. Damascus says rebels have killed 3,000 troops and police.

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Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Kafranbel, near Idlib. (Reuters)
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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