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Moscow denounces attempts at scuttling peaceful settlement in Syria

April 29, 2012, 14:46 UTC+3

According to reports from the city of Hama, located 210 kilometres north of Damascus, 244 opponents to authorities surrendered there

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ABU DHABI, April 29 (Itar-Tass) — In the meantime, Syrian police used tear gas in Damascus to disperse an anti-government demonstration, triggered off by funerals of people who died on Friday as a result of a terror act in Maidan Square, telecast the Lebanese Al-Mustaqbal TV channel.

According to the channel, reinforced police patrols were dispatched to prevent disorders in residential areas, bordering the city’s historical centre.

The Damascus-based newspaper Tishrin condemned a statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Syrian authorities do not fulfill allegedly their obligations in compliance with the Annan plan and have not withdrawn troops from cities.

The newspaper claims that such biased appraisals only encourage terrorists for new attacks. “Why hasn’t Ban Ki-moon uttered a word on violations of the ceasefire by armed gunmen?” requests the newspaper.

According to reports from the city of Hama, located 210 kilometres north of Damascus, 244 opponents to authorities surrendered there. All of them laid down their weapons voluntarily, promising not to break up law anymore. Taking into account the fact that mutineers availed themselves of the amnesty offered by the government, all of them were freed.

Syrian border guards cut short an attempt by a saboteur group on Saturday to land on the coast in the country’s north. The SANA news agency reported that the incident took place in the morning 30-35 kilometres from the Turkish border, in the area of the Latakia port. As a result of the clash, some border guards were killed and some wounded. Several terrorists were destroyed. Losses of the sides are being specified.

According to the news agency, an invasion of another group of gunmen was repulsed in Tell-Silvare, located north of the country’s economic capital – Aleppo which is situated 340 kilometres from Damascus. Three Syrian servicemen were killed there. Two hireling terrorists were liquidated, while the rest fled to Turkey.

In the words of Syrian Information Minister Adnan Mahmoud “starting from April 12, conditions of the peace settlement plan were violated 1,300 times by armed groups”. “Their latest crimes are a massacre in the villages of Arbin (Damascus province) and Turkuman Barih (Aleppo province).”

The Turkish government “deliberately aggravates bilateral relations with Syria”. Threats to Damascus, aired by Premier Tayyp Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as well as actions by Turkish authorities “run counter to the peaceful settlement plan, put forth by Kofi Annan”. This statement was made by republican Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi.

Syria has never threatened Ankara and regards the border with Turkey “as the border of friendship and good-neighbourly relations”, Makdisi noted. In this connection, Damascus was worried by “provocative statements by Erdogan and Davutoglu on a possibility to ask aid from NATO to protect Turkish borders.


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