Syria frustrated by al-Qaida

May 11, 2012 at 12:56 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, May 11 (UPI) -- The Syrian envoy to the United Nations said the world body wasn't taking the threat of terrorism in his country seriously following deadly attacks in Damascus.

Jeffrey White, a defense analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told CNN the series of "coordinated … very destructive" attacks Thursday in Damascus bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida groups working in neighboring Iraq.

Critics of the Syrian government believe authorities at the highest level are responsible for mounting civilian deaths in the country. Damascus, however, said the violence is the result of domestic terrorists supported by foreign elements.

Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari said the influx of weapons into the country was in stark contradiction to calls for a political solution to the crisis.

"U.N. envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, and head of the U.N. Observer Mission in Syria, Gen. Robert Mood, condemned the twin blasts which hit Damascus, and we are waiting for the Security Council to issue a strong and clear condemnation," he was quoted by the official Syrian Arab News Agency as saying.

Jaafari said the Syrian government has a list of 26 terrorists tied to al-Qaida and 12 foreign terrorists, including French, British and Belgian nationals, linked to or killed by the violence in the country.

Mood, in a statement from the site of the attacks in Damascus, said ending the conflict requires a comprehensive and coordinated effort from members of the international community and the parties to the conflict.

"We, the world community are here with the Syrian people, and I call on everyone within and outside Syria to help stop this violence," he said.

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