2012-08-10 12:40:09

Syria: fighting continues

(Vatican Radio) Syrian rebels lost of a key area of Aleppo yesterday, after weeks of fighting. The rebel Free Syrian Army has confirmed its retreat from the strategic Salah al-Din district in the face of a large-scale government offensive launched earlier this week. Aleppo is Syria's largest city, and Salah al-Din is considered a vital supply route for government troops coming from the south. The rebels still control several other districts, including some in the east of Aleppo that also have come under heavy bombardment. Meanwhile, the refugee crisis resulting from the conflict continues to worsen. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees representatives in Syria’s neighbour, Jordan, Andrew Harper told reporters the stream of Syrians fleeing the country's instability continues to grow. “Despite the incredibly harsh conditions [in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp], we are seeing more and more Syrians crossing the border to the safety of Jordan.”

As consensus over how to end the fighting in Syria continues to elude the international community, voices have begun to suggest that a replacement for outgoing UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan might be found in the person of Algerian Lakhdar Brahimi, a 78 year-old career diplomat who has held several top UN and Arab League posts, including top positions in Haiti, South Africa and Afghanistan. While serving as the Arab League’s chief representative between 1984 and 1991, Brahimi’s mediation was instrumental in ending the Lebanse civil war. Sources inside international diplomatic circles say his official appointment could come as early as next week. Listen to our report: RealAudioMP3

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