Foreign militants join armed gangs in Syria: Western media

Thursday, July 26th, 2012


Western media say a number of foreign militants have joined armed gangs fighting against the Syrian government, while clashes continue between Syrian security forces and rebels.

According to Agance France Presse (AFP) and the CNN, insurgents have entered the Syrian territory from several Arab countries and are now at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey.

The Western news outlets say the foreign militants are mainly from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, fighting between armed groups and the Syrian army continues, mainly in the northwestern city of Aleppo.

Syrian forces clashed with armed gangs in the southwestern city of Dara’a, about 114 kilometers (70 miles) south of the capital, Damascus, and several nearby villages on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, armed rebels attacked security checkpoints in Aleppo and there were reports of sporadic clashes between Syrian troops and rebels in the western city of Homs.

Separately, UN Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous told reporters in Damascus on Wednesday that about “half the military observers have been for the time being sent back to their countries,” referring to the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS).

On April 21, the UN Security Council voted on Resolution 2043 to establish “for an initial 90-day period, a supervision mission, to be known as UNSMIS, comprising an initial and expeditious deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers, including an appropriate civilian component and air transportation assets, to monitor a cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties.”

The Security Council unanimously approved a resolution on July 20 that extended the UN observer mission for 30 days.

Ladsous added that the mission “operates on a reduced basis, reduced in numbers, reduced in team size in the provinces and does what it can.”

The new head of the UNSMIS, Senegalese Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, who replaced Norwegian Major General Robert Mood, also told reporters in the Syrian capital on Wednesday that he was taking over “in a very difficult situation.”

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.





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