Bombs hits Syria as EU discusses crisis
DAMASCUS / NICOSIA
The European Union needs to play a bigger role in resolving the crisis,’ Hague says.At least five soldiers were killed by a bomb in the Syrian capital Sept. 7 as rebels and security forces clashed nationwide and EU leaders met in Greek Cyprus to discuss boosting aid to civilians.
A bomb packed into a motorbike exploded as worshippers were leaving a mosque in the northern district of Rokn Eddin in Damascus, and both state television news media and the Syrian Observatory for Human rights said it killed five soldiers. State television later reported a car bomb explosion in downtown Damascus near the central law courts, without giving any immediate report of casualties. At least 38 people, most of them civilians, were killed nationwide Sept. 7, according to the Observatory. Amid mounting carnage in the country the European Commission warned that the conflict in Syria was worsening and announced another $63 million in humanitarian aid to civilians.
The announcement comes as EU foreign ministers held informal talks in Greek Cyprus with Syria and Iran’s controversial nuclear program at the top of the agenda. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a letter sent to EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton ahead of the talks that the European Union needed to play a bigger role in resolving the crisis in Syria, which threatened to destabilize the region. His counterparts from France and Italy, Laurent Fabius and Giulio Terzi, said in a separate letter to Ashton that the Syrian crisis had reached “a turning-point” and that the days “of this rotten regime are numbered.”
Meanwhile, Journalist Abdullah Ömer, who resigned from his post in the Syria Presidential Palace Information Office to join the opposition, claimed that Bashar al-Assad and senior officials would flee to Russia’s capital with their families.
Ömer, who talked to the el-Gad television station, which is known for its link to the opposition, said al-Assad and Syrian senior officials were preparing to go to Moscow with their families. “Three hundred apartments in Moscow are prepared for them,” he said.