Beirut: On a day the new UN envoy to Syria acknowledged that brokering an end to the nation’s civil war is indeed a “very, very difficult task”, a government warplanes reportedly bombed a town in northern Syria on Monday, killing at least 18 people.
The airstrikes targeted a residential area in the northern town of al—Bab, situated about 30 km from the Turkish border, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees said.
The Observatory said 18 people were killed in the town. The LCC, however, put the death toll at 25.
An amateur video showed men frantically searching for bodies in the rubble of a white building turned into a pile of debris.
Syrian’s uprising began in March 2011 with largely peaceful protests against President Bashar Assad’s regime, but has since morphed into a civil war in the face of a brutal government crackdown.
At least 23,000 people have been killed so far, activists say.
The violence has escalated in recent months, and activist groups said that some 5,000 people were killed in August alone the highest ever reported in more than 17 months of bloodshed.
On Monday, activists reported violence across the country, including the suburbs of the capital Damascus, the eastern region of Deir el-Zour, as well as in Daraa to the south and in Idlib and Aleppo to the north.
Activists and state media also said a roadside bomb in the Damascus suburb of Jaramana wounded several people.
Diplomatic efforts, including a six-point peace plan by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, to solve the conflict have failed so far.
The new UN envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, took over the post Saturday from Mr Annan, who quit at the end of August.
In Damascus, Information Minister Omran al—Zoebi vowed that Syria “will give Brahimi every possible assistance. We will give him maximum assistance the way we did with Kofi Annan.”
The Assad regime made similar public statements when it signed on to Annan’s peace plan.
With Agencies inputs