DAMASCUS, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Radical rebels from the al-Qaida- linked Nusra Front have massacred more than 100 people in a suburb of the capital Damascus, the country's Foreign Ministry said Monday.
In a letter sent to the UN to complain about the terrorists' crimes in the country, the Foreign Ministry said the Nusra Front and the so-called Islam Brigade carried out a new massacre last Wednesday in the Adra Umalyeih suburb of Damascus, adding that the hard-liners had burnt the houses of the state servants in the area and took a large number of civilians as human shields.
The ministry also lambasted Arab news outlets that offer a media cover for the terrorists, saying those outlets financed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar are inciting sedition and killings in Syria.
It said that radical rebels from more than 80 countries are pouring into Syria, urging the UN member states to denounce the terrorism that Syria is subject to.
The Syrian army started on Friday a wide-scale offensive against the radical rebels in Adra, a military source was cited by Syria's mainstream media as saying.
The large-scale military operation aims at dislodging the al- Qaida-linked Nusra Front fighters from Adra, a couple of days after the fighters stormed the town, killing tens of people, including state servants, and burning houses in that area.
The Nusra has also slaughtered people from the Alawite minority in Adra and placed their heads in the most popular market in the town.
"Unites of our military forces have started storming the rebels ' positions in Adra," the Syrian military source said, stressing the army's determination to "amputate the sinful hand of terrorism. "
The source added that "the criminals and those who support them will pay a steep price for the crimes they are committing against our people."
Al-Qaida-linked groups such as the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of the Iraq and the Levant have taken advantage of the anti- government movement in Syria, emerging as a serious force among the rebel groups.
The radical rebels stormed Adra following their defeat in three major towns in the rugged al-Qalamoun region north of Damascus, namely al-Nabek, Deir Attieh and Qara.
UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Monday called for an early end to the Syrian crisis while expressing concern for the deterioration of the conflict in the passing year of 2013.
Ban made the statement when he was addressing a year-end press conference at the UN Headquarters in New York City, summing up the work of the world body in the outgoing year and touching on its major challenges in the coming year. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Following UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon's briefing on Monday to the UN Security Council on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, there was an " acrimonious and non-conclusive exchange" over responsibility for such attacks, said the council's president for December, Ambassador Gerard Araud of France.
Asked by reporters outside the chamber if there was discussion about which side may have used chemical weapons in the nearly three-year-old Syrian civil war, Araud replied, "The issue was raised at the initiative of a Security Council member which led to some acrimonious and non-conclusive exchange." Full story