Damascus: Syria accused neighboring Turkey on Monday of allowing thousands of Muslim extremists to cross into its territories, as the government and opposition said an explosion killed at least seven and cut off a main road headed south from the capital.
In letters to the UN Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Syria's Foreign Ministry said Turkey allowed "thousands of al Qaeda, Takfiri and Wahhabi terrorists" access to the country in order to "kill innocent Syrians, blow up their properties and spread chaos and destruction."
Syrian authorities blame the anti-government uprising that began in March last year on a foreign conspiracy and accuse Gulf countries Saudi Arabia and Qatar, along with the US, other Western countries and Turkey, of offering funding and training to the rebels, whom they describe as "terrorists."
Turkey serves as headquarters for the leaders of the ragtag Free Syrian Army rebel group and hosts many meetings of the Syrian National Council opposition group.
Relations between Turkey and Syria, once strong allies, have been deteriorating since the crisis began last year and Ankara became one of President Bashar Assad's harshest critics.
Also today, state-run news agency SANA said rebels detonated a 600 kilogramme bomb under the highway near the southern town of Khirbet Ghazaleh, killing eight people and wounding 25.
It said the bomb was detonated by remote control and cut the highway that links Damascus with the southern city of Daraa and the Jordanian capital of Amman.
SANA added that nine cars and two buses carrying state employees were damaged in the blast.
The opposition Local Coordination Committees said seven people were killed and others wounded in the blast that it said damaged a bus.
Earlier in the day, government troops captured and cleared the neighbourhood of Midan in the embattled northern city of Aleppo, SANA said, while activists reported that bombardment of rebel-held areas throughout the country claimed the lives of dozens of people.
SANA said troops also killed dozens of rebels in other parts of Aleppo, the country's largest city and commercial center.
First Published: Monday, September 17, 2012, 10:44