UN Chief Calls for Syrian Ceasefire

Posted October 9th, 2012 at 7:00 am (UTC-5)
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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is continuing his calls for Syrian forces to halt their fighting in a bid to bring an end to almost 19 months of conflict.

Mr. Ban on Tuesday urged President Bashar al-Assad's government to institute a unilateral ceasefire, and further stressed the need for other nations to halt arms deliveries to both Syrian forces and the opposition.

“I would urge again those countries who are providing arms to both sides should stop. Following this military equipment and also for the militarization will put the Syrian people only more miserable situations.”

Mr. Ban spoke at a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande, who said a ceasefire should be the beginning of the solution for Syria. He also said France wants to reinforce sanctions until Mr. Assad leaves power and clears the way for a political transition.

Meanwhile, the al-Qaida-aligned Al Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for suicide bombings targeting a military complex outside the capital, Damascus. Activists say the blasts overnight in the suburb of Harasta were followed by a gun battle.

Al Nusra has claimed responsibility for several previous attacks against pro-government targets in Syria.