Damascus: Syrian military forces fired indiscriminately from helicopters on rebel stronghold towns Tuesday killing scores of innocent civilians across Syria, which saw United Nations Envoy Kofi Annan expressing grave concern over the intensifying clashes.
The newly elected leader of Syria`s exiled coalition Abdel Basset Sayda also called on President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy Faruq al-Shara, in line with a plan based on a UN-backed power transfer in Yemen.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said nationwide violence cost the lives of at least 74 people today, adding to its overall toll of more than 14,100 killed since an anti-regime revolt erupted in March 2011.
Government helicopter gunships strafed rebel positions in Al-Heffa, as well as the opposition stronghold of Rastan, in the central Syrian province of Homs.
UN and -Arab League peace broker Annan was "gravely concerned by the latest reports of violence coming out of Syria and the escalation of fighting by both government and opposition forces," his spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said.
The former UN secretary general, who drew up a faltering plan aimed at ending the bloodshed, was referring to shelling in Homs and the reported use of mortars, helicopters and tanks in Al-Heffa.
With Agency Input