Bombs tore through the rebellious city of Idlib in north-western Syria on Monday, killing eight people, the government and an opposition group said, while state news reported a grenade attack by rebels on the Central Bank in Damascus.
The fresh reports of violence highlight the difficulties faced by General Robert Mood, the newly arrived commander of a small UN mission monitoring a ceasefire which is supposed to have been in place for more than two weeks.
Rami Abdulrahman of the UK-based Syrian Human Rights Observatory told Reuters that the Idlib bombs exploded next to the local headquarters of the feared Air Force branch of the intelligence services, and a military intelligence building, killing 20.
The state news agency said that two explosions had killed eight people, including law enforcement personnel, in Idlib, and showed images of blast-damaged buildings and vehicles. State news reported that an “armed terrorist group” targeted the Central Bank with rocket-propelled grenades.
Gen Mood’s advance team of unarmed observers, which the Security Council has mandated to bring up to 300 members, is in Syria to monitor compliance with a UN plan to end the crisis. More than 9,000 people are estimated to have been killed as President Bashar al Assad’s brutal crackdown on anti-government protests has evolved in to a military campaign against lightly armed insurgents.
Although daily casualty rates have fallen since the ceasefire came in to effect more than two weeks ago, activists say the regime has continued to shell rebel areas, and ongoing attacks on government forces have been reported.
Complicating the picture further are high profile acts of violence such as Friday’s lethal bomb in central Damascus, which the regime attributed to a terrorist suicide bomber.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon condemned violence by both sides at the end of last week, but emphasised the failure of the Syrian government to implement a promise to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from populated areas, prompting an accusation of bias from the regime.
Speaking to reporters in Myanmar on Sunday about the Syrian response to his statement, Mr Ban said he had “made it clear that all violence must stop.”
Iran does not wish to see the deaths of innocent civilians, but at the same time the international community must recognise the right of President Assad to defend his country and his people from the scourge of the terrorists seeking to depose his government.
Indonesia condemns this further outburst of bloodshed in Syria, and fully supports any efforts by the international community to prevent further civilian deaths and human rights abuses.
The European Union is appalled that violence against Syria's people is still going on and the situation in Syria is concerning. We call upon Syria to immediately end the violence and to implement the Annan Plan.