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August 7, 2022

Syria warplanes bomb rebel strongholds

Chinese FM urges international community to support Brahimi’s mediation efforts.

Government warplanes are bombarding opposition strongholds around Damascus and in the north, activists say, the BBC reports. Jets carried out strikes in the eastern Ghouta, outside the capital, and Maarat al-Numan, a town in Idlib province that straddles the Damascus-Aleppo motorway. The attacks came a day after activists said more than 160 people were killed.Meanwhile, UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi urged yesterday China’s leaders to help end the violence following the failure of his Eid al-Adha ceasefire initiative. Before attending talks in Beijing with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Mr Brahimi said he hoped China could “play an active role in solving the events in Syria”. The Chinese foreign ministry said it would push for a “political resolution” and would “continue to work with the international community”. The world should act with greater urgency to support the mediation efforts of the UN-Arab League’s Syria peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi as the situation is worsening, state media quoted China’s foreign minister as saying. Yang Jiechi also repeated a call for all sides in the Syria conflict to cease fire immediately and take steps towards forming a transitional government, the official Xinhua news agency reported. “The international community should fully cooperate with and support envoy Brahimi’s mediation efforts with a more intense sense of urgency and responsibility,” the report cited Yang as telling Brahimi during a meeting in Beijing. China and Russia have vetoed resolutions at the UN Security Council seeking to pressure President Bashar al-Assad to end the conflict.On Monday, Mr Brahimi met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow and described the conflict as “bad and getting worse”. The Algerian diplomat had hoped the truce over Eid al-Adha, an Islamic holiday which ran from Friday to Monday, would allow a political process to develop and lead to a permanent end to hostilities. However, more than 400 people were killed over the four days in clashes across the country, according to activists.

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