40 dead in Syria, calls for calm in Lebanon
Some 40 people were killed Monday in violence in Syria, including 22 soldiers killed by rebels. This comes as the UN chief Ban Ki-moon spoke of a "critical moment" for a peaceful solution in Syria and reiterated his fear of civil war.
The fighting intensified in Damascus and Aleppo regions and Idleb, killing, according to a Syrian NGO, 22 soldiers and 11 insurgents, despite the presence of UN observers.
Tanks, armored vehicles and troop carriers were also destroyed in the fighting. Five civilians were killed in bombings and army raids against rebel strongholds particularly in Hama, said the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR).
Moreover, fears of a spillover of the Syrian crisis to neighboring Lebanon increased after clashes in Beirut (two deaths) between supporters and opponents of the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Political sources in Lebanon expressed their confidence that there will be no escalation in Lebanon and that local actors agree on maintaining stability. According to these sources, security breaches will remain under control as the Lebanese political players remain aware of the dangers.