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He called for an immediate halt to the fighting and said other countries and the United Nations need to do more to help.
“I am deeply disappointed that the parties failed to respect the call to suspend fighting. This crisis cannot be solved with more weapons and bloodshed,” he said. “I remain committed to doing all I can to make this happen. As long as the international community remains at odds, the needs, attacks and suffering will only grow.”
U.N. International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters in Moscow that the failure of the cease-fire will not discourage him and his supporters.
In Turkey, state-run Anadolu news agency said the Turkish forces fired artillery in response to a stray shell fired from Syria that landed across the northern border. The shell landed some 300 meters (yards) away from the Turkish border village of Besaslan. No one was injured, but a power line was destroyed.
With the unraveling of the cease-fire, it’s unclear what the international community can do next. The holiday truce marked the first attempt in six months to reduce the bloodshed in Syria, where activists say more than 35,000 people have been killed in 19 months.
In Turkey, about 150 members of the Syrian opposition met Monday to plan for a post-Assad future, discussing the immediate challenges of managing parts of the northern Idlib province, sections of the city of Aleppo, the country’s largest, and other areas that are held by rebels. Long-term planning will focus on constitutional and legal reform, laws on elections and political parties and how to build a modern national army.
Delegates to the three-day meeting at a hotel on the outskirts of Istanbul included members of Syrian rebel groups as well as the country’s Kurdish minority. Abdelbaset Sieda, president of the SyrianNational Council, said the Syrian regime, which he described as a “criminal group,” was losing its grip on power and that the opposition must be prepared to rebuild the devastated country.
“The transitional phase has started now,” Sieda said. “That’s what we’re witnessing clearly today in many of our cities and villages.”
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