Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande: France's most unpopular president

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Mansouria Mokhefi, Middle East and North Africa specialist

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Sustainable cuisine

Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Low turnout in Algerian election tipped to return Bouteflika

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

Middle east

UN’s Brahimi meets Assad in wake of Hama air strike

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-12-24

Special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has met with Bashar al-Assad in Damascus for talks aimed at resolving the country’s bloody civil war, one day after an air strike on a bakery in the central city of Hama province killed dozens.

UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Monday to discuss a solution to a 21-month-old conflict, which has seen violence rise across the country and the capital.

The veteran Algerian statesman drove to Damascus because of fighting around the city’s international airport made it impossible to fly –a sign of how the conflict is paralysing much of Syria.

FRANCE 24's Adam Pletts reports on Brahimi's visit to Syria

Brahimi told reporters his meeting with Assad dealt with the general conditions in Syria, and the two discussed potential solutions to a crisis that has killed more than 44,000 people, according to activists.

“I told him what I was seeing abroad and about the meetings I had with different officials in the region and abroad,” Brahimi said. “The situation in Syria still is a reason for worry. We hope that all sides work toward the solution, as the Syrian people want.”

FRANCE 24 correspondent Adam Pletts, reporting from Lebanon, described Brahimi’s meeting with Assad as “the latest in a long line of mediation efforts, none of which have really had any success.”

“There are very low expectations of anything concrete coming out of this at the end of the day,” Pletts said.

Killed in bakery line

The trip is Brahimi’s third to Syria in almost as many months. His talks with Assad came one day after a deadly air strike on a bakery in Halfaya, a town under rebel control in Syria’s central Hama province.

“There is no way to really know yet how many people were killed. When I got there, I could see piles of bodies all over the ground. There were women and children,” said Samer al-Hamawi, an activist from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in Halfaya. “There are also dozens of wounded people.”

Rebel forces overran Halfaya last week as part of a greater campaign by rebels fighting to topple Assad.

Eyewitness account of air strike on bakery in Syria's Hama province

Another activist said locals were still sifting through the wreckage, trying to tell the dead from the wounded.

More than a thousand people were standing in line at the bakery when the strike hit, activists reported. In a country ravaged by conflict, people wait for hours to buy basics such as bread, which has been made scarce by fuel and flour shortages.

“We hadn’t received flour in around three days so everyone was going to the bakery today, and lots of them were women and children,” a man told reporters on the ground. “I still don’t know yet if my relatives are among the dead.”

New York-based Human Rights Watch condemned army air strikes on bakeries earlier this year, arguing that in some incidents the military was not using enough precision to target rebel sites and in other instances may have intentionally hit civilians.

Date created : 2012-12-23

  • SYRIA

    Deadly car bomb strikes Damascus

    Read more

  • SYRIA - LEBANON

    Fleeing Syria, Palestinian refugees cram Beirut camp

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syrians braced for harsh winter in war-torn Aleppo

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)