Syria will 'eliminate terror'

Syria's President Assad said his government had a duty to "eliminate terrorists" to protect its people. He also ruled out any solution to the crisis imposed from outside the country.

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Russia regrets that Iran not invited to Syria Action Group

The Russian foreign ministry has expressed its regret that Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon have not been invited to join an Action Group on Syria.

The Russian proposal on this (other countries attending) has met unsurmountable objections from the U.S. side, especially on the part concerning Iran

– russian foreign ministry statement

The group is due to meet in Geneva on Saturday to discuss how to bring about a Syrian-led political transition.

Assad: 'Government has to eliminate terrorists to save lives'

Syrian President President Bashar al-Assad Credit: PA Wire

Syria's president Bashar Al-Assad has said that the Government has to eliminate terrorists to save thousands of lives.

Speaking to Iranian television, he also said a solution imposed on Syria from outside was unacceptable because only Syrians could resolve the country's crisis.

"No non-Syrian model is acceptable because no one but us knows how to solve the problem," Assad said during the rare hour-long interview.

The president said that some countries want the Kofi Annan peace plan to fail in order to blame Syria.


Red Cross : Organisation needs 'safe and unhindered access'

It is the second time in a week that the ICRC has been forced to turn back to Damascus. On June 21st, its joint team with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent heard shooting as it tried to enter the old city where the agency says hundreds of civilians are trapped by fighting.

Damaged houses are seen in the Sunni Muslim district of Bab Amro in Homs in February of this year Credit: REUTERS/Mulham Alnader

ICRC spokesman Bijan Farnoudi in Geneva declined to provide specifics or apportion blame for the latest setback after the two sides agreed in principle to a humanitarian truce. In a statement the agency said:

"The ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are virtually the only humanitarian organisations working in the hardest-hit areas in the country, and safe and unhindered access is thus essential to their work. ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent teams take considerable risks performing their tasks,"

Turkey will respond to Syria's 'hostile' downing of jet

Turkey's National Security Council said it would respond to Syria's "hostile" downing of one of its reconnaissance jets last week with determination but within international law.

The council, made up of the president, senior ministers and military chiefs, said in a statement after a five-hour meeting:

Turkey will act with determination to use all its rights within the international law against this hostile act. the council, made up of the president, senior ministers and military chiefs, said in a statement after a five-hour meeting.

Red Cross denied access to evacuate Syria's wounded

Efforts to evacuate civilians and wounded from the battered Syrian city of Homs failed again when a rescue team could not enter affected areas, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said.

Beatrice Megevand-Roggo, head of ICRC operations for the Near and Middle East, said in a statement that there had been an agreement from Syrian authorities and the opposition for the ICRC team to carry out an evacuation.

But "on the spot, however, agreed-upon conditions were not met and the staff were unable to proceed", she said.

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