BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The unremitting surge of violence in Syria has triggered a new flurry of diplomatic actions and counteractions over the 17-month-old conflict.
In a letter sent to the UN Security Council on Monday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of rendering financial support and arms supplies to Syria's armed insurgent groups.
The ministry said the "armed terrorist groups," supported with money and arms from the three countries, have committed heinous crimes against innocent civilians in Aleppo and Damascus.
It demanded these countries halt funding and arming the opposition so as to pave the way for a political process and national dialogue to put an end to the deadly turmoil.
Saudi Arabia is circulating a draft resolution in the UN General Assembly that requires a cessation of violence, a political transition and a secure hold of chemical weapons in Syria.
Meanwhile, Turkey on Monday sent more troops, tanks and other military equipment to its border with Syria, due to growing concerns about the security on its southern frontier, according to the Turkish semi-official Anatolia news agency.
Still, Turkey is not expected to get involved in a war with Syria, particularly after a recent warning by Iran, Syria's main ally, that it would stand alongside Syria in any attack it might be exposed to in line with their joint defense accord.
"As with the past, under any circumstances the Iranian nation and government will remain on the side of the Syrian government," Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani said on Sunday, when he met Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in Tehran.
Facing internal and external plights, the Syrian government showed unwavering resolve in the past week in its military operations to overrun some rebel-held areas in northern province Aleppo.
The Syrian state-run SANA news agency said Monday that government forces had tracked down armed groups in Sakhour area of northern Aleppo, leaving nine rebel fighters killed or injured. Activists reported shellings in the area.
Despite fierce fightings in Damascus and nearby areas and a serious humanitarian crisis, Lt. Gen. Babacar Gaye, the new chief of the UN Supervision Mission to Syria (UNSMIS), said Monday that his first approach was "positive" after meeting with rebel Free Syrian Army leaders and government officials in Syria's Homs.
The UNSMIS chief said in a briefing that neither the Syrian government nor rebels had said no to an ceasefire agreement.
In the United States, President Barack Obama spoke with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by telephone on Monday, vowing to accelerate a political transition in Syria.
The White House said in a statement that the United States and Turkey would promote the political transition and help Syrian refugees "in coordinated efforts."
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, whose country is taking over the UN Security Council's rotating presidency in August, has also said he will call an emergency session of the council to impose more sanctions on Syria.
Syria has witnessed brutal battles between government forces and insurgent troops in Damascus and Aleppo, the largest city and commercial hub, in the past days, producing hundreds of thousands of refugees.
In response, neighboring Jordan has opened its first refugee camp on its border with Syria, as more than 1,200 Syrians flood into the country every day, according to Jordanian officials.
Also on Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated that the UNSMIS remains a key tool for a peaceful resolution to the Syria crisis based on the six-point plan and the Geneva communique, and the only solution is a Syrian-led transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.
"I call on all sides to take immediate steps to meet the Security Council requirements, and give Syria the chance it needs to move beyond the violence and onto the path to peace," he said.
Commenting on Syria's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, he noted that use of these arms is prohibited under international law and any use of such weapons would be an outrageous crime and a major concern for the entire international community.
"I call on the Syrian government to renounce the possibility of using these weapons under any circumstances, and to ensure the safety and security of stockpiles," Ban said.
DAMASCUS, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The Syria government showed unwavering resolve in the past week in its operations to overrun some rebel-held areas in northern province Aleppo while the confrontation between the two sides is getting increasingly fierce due to the support the opposition is reportedly receiving from some regional and foreign parties.
Despite some opposition activists' claim that the rebels have fended off an all-out offensive by the government troops, Syria said it is in the throes of crushing them and on the threshold of a new era, which will see all Syrian cities free of "terrorists." Full story
DAMASCUS, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Syrian Foreign Ministry on Monday overtly accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of rendering financial support and arms supplies to the armed insurgent groups on ground in Syria.
In a letter sent to the chief of the UN Security Council and the secretary general of the UN, the ministry said the "armed terrorist groups" have unleashed assaults on innocent civilians and public and private facilities, particularly in capital Damascus and Aleppo, Syria's largest city and commercial hub. Full story
ANKARA, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Turkey sent more troops, tanks and other military equipment on Monday to its border with Syria as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces hit Syrian second largest city Aleppo in air and land attacks, Turkish semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
Armored infantry vehicles as well as missile launchers are among the recently-transported equipment deployed in Akcakale town of Sanliurfa province and Kilis province along the Syrian border, according to the report. Full story
DAMASCUS, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Syrian troops on Sunday regained their control of Salahuddien neighborhood, a key battlefield in the week-long clashes in northern province Aleppo, according to reports of a state-run TV.
The state TV said Salahuddien has been purged of armed groups, in reference to rebel fighters. Full story