- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
Envoy arrives in Syria amid calls for truce
BEIRUT — Turkey and Germany on Friday threw their weight behind calls for a Syrian cease-fire during a Muslim holiday next week as the international envoy for the conflict arrived in Damascus to push for the plan.
The effort has taken on urgency after activists in recent days reported some of the heaviest air bombardments by President Bashar Assad’s military against rebel-held areas.
Lakhdar Brahimi, the joint U.N.-Arab League envoy, was expected to meet Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Saturday. Brahimi has called for a truce by both sides in the civil war during the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday that begins next Friday.
“It is especially important for the Syrian regime, which has launched bombs on its people with planes and helicopters, to halt these attacks immediately and without preconditions,” Davutoglu said.
He said the opposition must abide by the cease-fire as well.
Despite the push for a cease-fire, activists reported more regime airstrikes Friday in the northern Idlib province. There were no immediate details on casualties.
Dozens were reported killed Wednesday and Thursday in airstrikes on opposition targets across Syria’s north.
On Thursday, Syrian warplanes hammered a strategic city captured by rebels, leaving behind scenes of carnage captured on amateur videos that showed a man holding up two child-sized legs not connected to a body and another carrying a dismembered arm.
The city of Maaret al-Numan, located strategically on a major north-south highway connecting Aleppo and Damascus, was captured by rebels last week and there has been heavy fighting around it ever since. Rebel brigades from the surrounding area have poured in to defend the town. Online videos have shown them firing mortars at regime troops, and they claimed to have shot down a government helicopter on Wednesday.
Since it was captured a week ago, the Idlib province city and surrounding areas have been the focus of one of the heaviest air bombardments since Assad’s military first unleashed its air force against rebels over the summer.
Activists say more than 33,000 people have been killed since the anti-Assad uprising started in March 2011.
• Associated Press writer Suzan Fraser contributed to this report from Ankara, Turkey.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Echoes of Cold War in Ukraine as Russia tries to rein in former Soviet satellites
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow