Damascus, Beirut - George Al Shami, Georges Chahine
Sixty-seven Syrians have been killed during clashes in Damascus between governmental troops and the opposition Free Syrian Army, on Tuesday.
Meanwhile the US State Department expressed its support for the initiative submitted by Syrian Coalition leader Moaz el-Khatib to conduct dialogue with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, while it refused to provide immunity to the Syrian president.
Syrian activists said that government aircraft attacked the southern neighbourhoods of Damascus with cluster bombs, killing three people in al-Assaly neighbourhood.
Free Syrian Army announced that it took control of Hagez el-Watar near Adra city. Sham News Network said that governmental troops launched an imprisonment campaign in Damascus, while the militias of the public committees imprisoned 40 young men.
In Daraa, the Free Syrian Army said that it had taken control of a number of sites, after violent clashes with the governmental troops, while the public committees related to the Syrian regime imprisoned over 60 young men.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that violent clashes erupted between the Free Syrian Army and the government troops in Aleppo, leading to a large number of victims. It added that the Syrian opposition once again attempted to seize a military barrack in Aleppo, but failed in the mission.
According to Observatory figures, 3,742 citizens were killed in Syria in January, including 466 children. The figure took the total number of victims since the revoluton began to 52,000 citizens.
On the diplomatic side, the Syrian Opposition Coalition said it would hold an emergency meeting to discuss "individual statements" issued by the head of the Coalition Moaz al-Khatib, while the US State Department expressed its support for the initiative to hold talks with the Syrian regime headed by Bashar al-Assad.
The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad called for national understanding between the Syrian people, adding that only the Syrian people should decide their destiny through conducting free and fair elections. The statements came as Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that his country would resume negotiations with the Syrian opposition.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said that if the current Syrian crisis prolonged, the suffering of the Syrian people would increase during the coming period. He said that Egypt is working to ensure the unity of the Syrian people, adding that the military solution would not benefit the Syrian issue, in comparison to a political solution.
On the other hand, Syria’s ruling Baath Party published military and intelligence reports, saying that the proposal submitted by the Syrian Opposition to conduct dialogue and achieve a political settlement comes from their leaders who have launched a war against the Syrian people. It added that the opposition forces have turned to dialogue because they have found it "impossible" to break the will of the Syrian people.
The reports stressed the need to find a political solution for the Syrian crisis, adding that the powers that conspired against the Syrian people would abandon their demands upon realisation that they have failure to achieve their objectives.