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Syria accuses Security Council members of backing 'terrorism'

Syria has charged members of the UN Security Council with fomenting 'terrorism' within their borders. The comments come after Ban Ki Moon rapped Damascus for violence against its people.

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Monday accused some members of the UN Security Council of supporting "terrorism" in the war-torn country, a barely concealed attack on the US and its allies, who outwardly back Syria's opposition.

Al-Moallem, addressing the UN General Assembly, said that not only Syria, but also Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Libya will be key to negotiating a solution to his country's conflict. He branded calls for Syria's President Bashar Assad to step down as "blatant interference" in Syria's domestic affairs. The Syrian figurehead favors a political solution to the conflict and a Syria-led dialogue with a view to agreeing on a roadmap towards greater democracy.

The foreign minister's comments come after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized the Syrian government earlier on Monday for its military's violence.

Ban "raised in the strongest terms the continued killings, massive destruction, human rights abuses, and aerial and artillery attacks committed by the government" during his speech to the UN General Assembly, according to his spokesman.

Ancient Aleppo burns

On the ground in Syria, rebel forces and the government’s military on Monday vied for control of the Old City of Aleppo, which is a world heritage site.

Fires broke out throughout the traditional heart of the city as clashes took place in an area of the Old City’s souk, which faces Aleppo's ancient citadel; near the square where the city’s famous Umayyad mosque is located; and in the ancient districts of Aqaba and Awamid.

Overall, fighting left at least 100 dead across the country on Monday, according to an estimate from the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. They added that fatal casualties included eighteen security force members, who were killed in an ambush on their convoy. The vehicle had been travelling from Homs, in central Syria, to Palmyra, a desert town in the East.

sej/msh (Reuters, AP, AFP)