Dozens killed as Assad forces intensify air strikes
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Dozens killed as Assad forces intensify air strikes

Ma'arrat an Nu'mān : Syria | Oct 18, 2012 at 3:54 PM PDT
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets with peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carried out a fresh air strike on Thursday in the town of Maaret al-Numan in northwestern Syria. At least 44 people were killed, including children, and another 30 were missing, a medic told an AFP correspondent at the scene.

Syrian activists and rescue workers said the regime air force's bombs destroyed two residential buildings and a mosque.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said several fighter jets, including Sukhoi, flew over the Maaret al-Numan region throughout the morning, making short dives at low altitude to drop at least ten bombs on the city and its periphery. Heavy machine guns of the rebellion came into action on several occasions to try to shoot down aircraft, but without success.

Meanwhile, the official SANA news agency reported that a powerful bomb exploded in Damascus near Otham Bin Affan mosque, a few hundred meters from the Syrian Interior Ministry building, adding that the attack resulted in no injuries.

SANA also said that the UN-Arab League envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, is due to arrive in Damascus on Saturday. He will meet with Foreign Minister Walid Muallem to discuss the proposal of a temporary ceasefire in Syria during the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday, starting on Oct. 26.

Brahimi spokesman Ahmad Fauzi said that if the cease-fire worked out, Brahimi would declare a new comprehensive peace plan on Syria. However, he declined to elaborate.

It is worth mentioning that Brahimi left Cairo today for Amman to discuss the Syrian crisis with Jordanian officials.

Earlier, SOHR said that violence across Syria has killed at least 34,000 people, mostly civilians, since the beginning of the uprising against the regime in mid-March 2011.

In related news, Anatolia news agency reported that Turkey's army on Thursday staged a new military drill near its border with Syria, amid heightened tensions between the neighboring countries.

The report said the drill was held in Suruc, near the Sanliurfa province in southeastern Turkey, adding that mainly tanks were involved in the exercises.

Opinion:

Certainly the Syrian regime will find a justification for bombing and killing if Brahimi asks about the reason for the increasing violence at the time the regime seemed to agree to the truce.

Crimes of the regime continue and will not stop. For this, I do not know why Brahimi is optimistic toward the success of the cease-fire plan, which has not been approved yet by the Assad regime.

Moreover, for sure, if Assad will not be part of the solution, then the plan will not be approved by Russia and China. One of the plan’s features seems to be a political solution, similar to what has been done in Yemen, Arab sources reported.

After all, Brahimi will be surprised with the demands of the regime to achieve a cease-fire. I am sure that Oct. 26 will pass without a cease-fire, and thus the peace plan will fail before seeing the light.

Pro-regime TV "Addounia" mentioned that President Putin contacted the prime minister of Turkey, saying: "Watch out, you are dealing with Russia and Russia is not Syria. If one Turkish solider enters the Syrian land, it means he entered Moscow!"

Erdogan answered: "I do not accept this tone of warning." Putin said: "I do not wait for a permission to speak, but I say what I have, that is Russia is ready for a war and I am not kidding."

Addounia TV said that the source of this news is a Turkish opposition source. I am personally not sure of this news, which I doubt that it has actually happened. It is the media war through which the regime is spreading rumors to keep the high spirit among his army, after the continuous failure on ground.

Sources:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49389710/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/war-intensifies-across-syria-refugee-crisis-deepens/

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4294049,00.html

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/10/18/244533.html

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Dozens killed as Assad forces intensify air strikes
Searching through the rubble in Maaret al-Numan..AFP
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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