DAMASCUS/TEHRAN, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Sharaa has said that neither the government nor the rebels could grab a decisive victory as the conflict drags on, while Syrian war planes hit on Sunday a Palestinian refugees' camp in the country to suppress the rebels' advance.
"No opposition can end the battle militarily, just as the security forces and army cannot achieve a decisive conclusion," Sharaa told the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar in an interview to be released Monday
He said the conflict-torn country has been drifting away from an either military or political solution as time goes on, adding that no rebel groups can claim they are the sole legitimate representatives of the Syrian people.
Last week's "Friends of Syria" meeting, which was attended by some Arab and Western governments in Morroco, recognized the National Coalition for the Opposition Forces as "the legitimate representative" of the Syrian people.
The vice president urged all sides to build confidence, saying that the final solution must be Syrian, and must first bring about an end to all forms of violence and establish a national unity government with broad powers.
On Sunday, in a bid to squash the rebels in southern Damascus, Syrian fighter jets bombed the Palestinian Yarmouk camp, killing some eight people.
According to the UN Relief and Works Agency, there are altogether 486,000 Palestinian refugees living in nine official and three unofficial camps across Syria.
Reports unveiled that the refugees were enlisted and armed by both the Syrian government and the rebels to fight in the Mideast country's civil conflict.
Following the bombing, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged on Sunday an immediate halt to the attacks against the refugee camps in Syria, while the Islamist Hamas movement called the strikes a crime.
"We call on the warring sides in Syria to spare the Palestinian people and their camps in Syria," Abbas said in a statement.
He also called on the international community to act quickly and protect the Palestinians in Syria, adding that the Palestinians were not involved in Syria's conflict.
Also on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said the planned deployment of NATO's Patriot missiles in Turkey is "provocative," according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.
Around 600 foreign troops are expected to accompany six Patriot missile systems planned to be installed in Turkey to reinforce NATO members' air defense capability, and to calm its fears coming under a possible missile attack from neighboring Syria.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference, Salehi said the deployment of the missiles is not instrumental to the security and stability in the region, according to the same report.
It is believed here that stationing these missiles in Turkey is "provocative" instead of "deterring," Salehi added.
The foreign minister also told the Press TV on Sunday that Iran will not allow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be forced from power by "a Western conspiracy," adding that only the people of Syria have the right to pick their ruler.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi was quoted by Fars news agency on Sunday that the missiles deployment in the region "can pave the way for a world war."
Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad canceled his trip to Turkey a day after his military chief's "world war" warning over NATO's missile installment along its border with Syria, Turkey's semi-official Anatolia news agency said on Sunday.
Ahmadinejad had been invited by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to the central city of Konya on Monday for an annual ceremony marking the death of Rumi, the 13th century Sufi mystic.
Anatolia quoted diplomatic sources as saying that Ahmadinejad canceled his visit evoking schedule conflict.
Separately, Tehran said on Sunday it supported presidential elections as part of a six-point plan to end the bloody and lengthy fighting in Syria during the opening of a two-day conference that was attended by 200 Syrian religious and political figures, as well as envoys from Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon, according to Fars news agency.
The plan also calls for efforts to halt the flow of weapons into Syria, hold talks, and form a transitional government to lead Syria toward parliamentary and presidential elections.
DAMASCUS, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- More than 300 fighters from the radical al-Nusra Front on Sunday morning infiltrated the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk in the Syrian capital Damascus and clashed with local committees there, causing human losses, great chaos and huge displacement movement, local media said.
Al-Nusra, an offshoot of al-Qaida in Iraq, has been beefing up the presence in the surrounding areas of the camp over the past days in a bid to storm it, the local Ajel news network said, adding that intense clashes are going on in the camp. Full story
RAMALLAH, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday urged combatants in Syria to avoid Palestinian refugees and their camps.
"We are worryingly following the implication of our people and camps in Syria in the regrettable internal conflict there," Abbas said in a brief statement published by Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency.Full Story