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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned against escalating the situation in Syria after Israel struck targets near Damascus on Sunday, targeting what its officials said were Iranian missiles bound for Hezbollah militants, The Voice of Russia reported.

Israeli officials said the raid, the second in 48 hours, was not connected to Syria's civil war. It was aimed, rather, at stopping Lebanon's Hezbollah, an ally of Iran, acquiring weapons that could be used to strike Tel Aviv if Israel followed through on threats to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.


An attack was made against Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi's motorcade on Monday in the centre of Damascus, Al-Arabiya TV channel reported.

According to the TV channel, the explosion occurred near the Prime Minister's motorcade. TV sources confirmed Wael al-Halqi is alive.

The circumstances of the accident are being investigated.


The bomb attack in Damascus was proof of "terrorists' bankruptcy and frustration," Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said Monday, dpa reported.

"Such blasts show how bankrupt and frustrated the terrorists and the countries supporting them are as a result of the victories the Syrian army is achieving in foiling their plots," al-Halqi said, according to state news agency SANA.


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said his country would not relent in fighting against "militants and terrorists," Syria's state-run news agency SANA reported Monday, as the opposition said dozens had been killed by government troops near the capital Damascus, dpa reported.

"No appeasement can be pursued with the militant and terrorist groups," SANA quoted al-Assad as telling a delegation of Lebanese politicians in Damascus on Sunday.


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has signed a decree on general amnesty, SANA agency said on Tuesday.

According to the agency, the amnesty covers all crimes committed before April 16, 2013.

Anti-government protests have continued in Syria for about two years. According to the UN, the total number of victims of the conflict in Syria exceeds 70,000 with around three million in need of humanitarian assistance. Syrian authorities say they oppose the well-armed militants.


The UN has failed to fulfil its promises regarding the investigation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Advisor for Political and Information Affairs to the Syrian President Buseyna Shaaban said in an interview to RT on Thursday.

"The Syrian government asked the UN to conduct an investigation on the use of chemical weapons by armed rebels. However, instead of investigating cases of usage of chemical weapons in the village of Khan al-Assal and Aleppo, the UN spoke about other instances of its use," Shaaban said.


Syrian state-run television on Thursday accused foreign organisations of bias for the rebels after Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused government forces of carrying out airstrikes against civilians, dpa reported.

New York-based HRW said in a report called "Death from the Skies" that government airstrikes had on eight occasions targeted civilians queuing for bread outside bakeries in rebel-held areas and repeatedly struck hostpitals. Some 152 civilians were killed in the attacks.


Syria late Monday said it will not accept a chemical weapons team proposed earlier by UN chief Ban Ki-moon to check whether chemical weapons have been used in Syria, DPA reported.
"Syria regrets that Ban Ki-moon has yielded to the pressures practiced by countries known for their support to the Syrian bloodshed in order to divert the consultations in this regard from their real context," the state-run SANA news agency quoted a foreign ministry source as saying.


Deputy IRI FM in international affairs here Monday considered usage of chemical weapons by armed Syrian dissidents a serious international concern, criticizing UN for delay in dispatching chemical weapons fact finding team there.

According to IRNA, Mohammad-Mahdi Akhoundzadeh made the comment in a meeting with the head of the 3rd Conference of Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).


Syria lashed out at Turkey and Jordan on Thursday for what it called their duplicitous work in fomenting the Syrian rebellion, accusing the Turkish prime minister of chronic lies and telling the Jordanians they were "playing with fire" in letting insurgents arm and train on their soil - a possible hint of retaliation, New York Times reported.

The criticisms in the state news media appeared to be part of an intensified propaganda response to new rebel gains in the two-year-old conflict and President Bashar al-Assad's further isolation.