Syrian opposition sees no change in Russian stand
Russia has not changed its position on Syria, deplored on Wednesday Syrian opposition leaders after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. "We have not seen any developments in the Russian position. I was here a year ago and the (Russian) position has not changed," Burhan Ghalioun, member of the Syrian National Council leadership, told reporters.
On his part, the current head of the SNC, Abdel Basset Sayda, stressed that a "revolution" was underway in Syria. "Events in Syria are not only disagreement between the opposition and the government, but a revolution, "he said, comparing the situation in his country to what happened in Russia in the aftermath of the USSR collapse, in 1991.
Russia submitted on Tuesday to its 14 partners in the UN Security Council a draft resolution extending the mandate of the Mission of UN supervision in Syria (MISNUS) but it does not include the threat of sanctions against the Assad regime.
The draft text "extends by three months the mandate" of observers deployed by the UN, whose mandate expires on July 20, considering the recommendations made by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon."
The latter, in a report to the UN Council last week, calls for reducing the number of military observers (currently 300) and give the MISNUS a more political role. The Russian draft" reaffirms support" for the peace plan of Kofi Annan and demand the Syrian regime and opposition to "begin immediately to implement" the plan.
Meanwhile, clashes were reported on Wednesday between Syrian security forces and anti-regime fighters in Damascus. The clashes took place at dawn in the district of Qadam, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
In Aleppo (north), the second largest city in the country, loud explosions were also heard and two soldiers were killed when rebels attacked a military checkpoint. In addition, demonstrations involving hundreds of young people took place Tuesday night in the upscale neighborhood of Mazze in the capital where the participants chanted slogans against the regime.
For its part, the General Council of the Syrian revolution has reported overnight clashes in Homs and Kafar Sousse areas.
At least 82 deaths were reported across Syria on Tuesday, with at least 30 civilians dead, according to SOHR.