DAMASCUS, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Violent clashes continued in several Syrian cities on Tuesday amid official reports that the Syrian army is carrying on with "purging" a number of districts in the northern city of Aleppo, as the United Nations confirms jihadists' presence in Syria.
The state news agency SANA said several armed insurgents were killed in al-Sakhour area in Aleppo after the government troops attacked a hideout of armed militia there.
The army forces also attacked pockets of armed insurgents in Bustan al-Qasir, killing and injuring a big number of them, according to SANA.
Also in Aleppo, SANA said armed groups blasted Tuesday an empty residential building in al-Jdaideh area, causing the death of two army personnel.
In a related development, governor of Aleppo Mohammad Aqqad said drinking water will flow back to all the areas in Aleppo at midnight Tuesday after the maintenance work of pumps sabotaged during the ongoing violence is finished.
Meanwhile, clashes continued in the southern suburbs of the capital Damascus, such as Hajar al-Aswad, al-Qadam and Asali.
SANA said the army inflicted a hefty toll on the armed militia in those areas.
In separate accounts, the opposition Local Coordination Committees reported clashes and army bombardment on a number of hotspots nationwide, adding that 58 people have so far been killed Tuesday.
Still, such accounts are rather impossible to be checked independently.
While the violent acts continue, the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria has confirmed the increasing presence of foreign elements, including jihadist militants, in Syria.
UN investigators said some of the jihadists have joined rebel groups, while others are operating independently. Paulo Pinheiro, an expert leading the UN team of human rights investigators, said some recent bomb attacks may have been carried out by some such groups.
The Syrian government has from the beginning blamed the unrest on armed extremists acting out a foreign plot but not true reform seekers.
Activists said the 18-month-old unrest in Syria killed more than 23,000 people, while the some official sources said at least 8,000 army and security personnel have so far been killed.
[Video] UN confirms Islamist Syria presence
BEIJING, Sept. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria has confirmed the increasing presence of foreign elements, including jihadist militants in the country. UN investigators say some have joined rebel groups, while others are operating independently. Paulo Pinheiro, an expert leading the UN’s team of human rights investigators, says some recent bomb attacks may have been carried out by some such groups.
Paulo Pinheiro, U.N. Human Rights Investigator said, "We consider that one of the most alarming and scary elements of this protracted war is the presence of those elements, because sometimes they are not fighting for the same objectives as the armoured groups of the Free Syrian Army. They have their own agenda, their own agenda, they are sort of loose cannon. Full story
UN commission confirms increasing presence of foreign militants in Syria
GENEVA, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Syria on Monday confirmed "the increasing presence of foreign elements, including jihadist militants" in the country.
Paulo Pinheiro, chair of the CoI, told the ongoing 21st session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) that some of the foreign militants are joining the anti-government forces while others are establishing their own groups and operate independently. Full story