Airstrikes in Syria kill at least 18 people

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Mr. Brahimi said he is “scared of the weight of the responsibility” and that he is “standing in front of a brick wall.”

“We’ll have to see if we can go around that wall,” he said.

Mr. Brahimi, who is also a former U.N. envoy to Afghanistan and Iraq, made his comments alongside U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in his first public appearance at the United Nations since accepting the job.

“I am coming into it with my eyes open, with no illusions that it is going to be easy, but then, have you heard of a mission that the United Nations have undertaken that was easy?” he said. “It’s a duty to try, and that is what we are going to do.”

Asked where his task was “Mission Impossible,” Mr. Brahimi said, “I suppose it is.”

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