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Brahimi sees regional leaders on Syria

Oct. 14, 2012 at 5:16 PM   |   Comments

DAMASCUS, Syria, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The Joint Special Representative of the U.N.- Arab League Envoy on Syria met with the Turkish president to discuss continuing violence in Syria.

Lakhdar Brahimi, of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis, met with President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul about the adverse effect of the conflict on the region, the United Nations said in a release.

Brahimi has been holding talks with leaders in the region, including the Syrian Government, to find a solution to the now 19 months of conflict in Syria.

While in Istanbul, Brahimi also met with the Chairman of the opposition Syrian National Council, members of the SNC Executive Committee, as well as other members of the Syrian opposition.

Meanwhile, a human rights group says Syria is bombing civilian areas with cluster bombs, a violation of international law.

"Syria's disregard for its civilian population is all to evident in its air campaign, which now apparently includes dropping these deadly cluster bombs into populated areas," Steve Goose, arms director for Human Rights Watch, said Saturday.

"Cluster bombs have been comprehensively banned by most nations, and Syria should immediately stop all use of these indiscriminate weapons that continue to kill and maim for years," Goose said.

The human rights organization said it received information of the use of the banned bombs from videos posted by Syrian activists and interviews conducted with residents living in towns hit by the cluster munitions, the report said.

Israeli officials say the crisis between the rebels and pro-Syrian regime forces appears to be gradually spreading towards areas close to Israel's border, Israel Radio reported. Syrian rebel forces say they've gained control of six villages located near Israel's border, not far from the ceasefire zone declared following the 1973 Yom Kippur war, the radio report said.

An area near the Syrian border is being cleared in the event Israel needs to absorb Syrian refugees seeking to flee the country, officials told Israel Radio.

One unnamed Israeli military official said the work has been coordinated with the United Nations and in accordance with international humanitarian regulations. The radio report said the Israeli army recently strengthened the security barrier between Israel and Syria, particularly near the Druze village of Majdal Shams.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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