Bomb Wounds 3 Near UN Hotel in Syrian Capital

Posted August 15th, 2012 at 5:05 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Syrian state television says a bomb has exploded near a hotel used by United Nations observers in Damascus, wounding three people.

The report said the blast Wednesday was caused by a bomb planted on a fuel truck.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said none of the U.N. monitors were hurt in the explosion. He also called on the international community to work “hand-in-hand against terrorism.”

The U.N. Security Council is due to discuss the situation in Syria on Thursday, days before the observer mission's mandate expires on August 19.

China's official People's Daily newspaper on Wednesday criticized Western nations for talking about the prospect of a no-fly zone of Syria, saying such comments undermine U.N. mediation efforts and harm the unity of the Security Council. China has joined Russia in vetoing U.N. Security Council resolutions threatening Syria with sanctions for using heavy weapons against civilians

Meanwhile, the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation is holding a summit in Mecca after agreeing to recommend suspending Syria from the group. The foreign minister of Iran – one of Syria's strongest allies – said his country will never accept the proposal.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said earlier this week he is confident the United States could enforce a no-fly zone, but that it is not a top priority. He also says Iran is trying to develop and train a militia in Syria to fight rebels on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.