Beirut: Even as the holy month of Ramzan and the UN mission in Syria, both come to an end, Syrian conflict seems to be an endless ordeal with government troops continuing to kill on Monday, the second day of the Eid Al-Fitr.
Eid Al-Fitr is a three day holiday, which marks the end of Ramzan month, during which the Muslims abstain from food, water and other pleasures. But even this significant festival couldn’t keep Syrian regimes’ tanks and guns from firing and shelling.
Heavy fighting raged in the cities of Aleppo, Daraa and a suburb in Damascus as government forces killed 30 people, activists said.
Activists reported no signs of jubilation across the battered nation, with smaller-than-usual turnout for the traditional Al-Eid prayer on the first day and an air of gloom descending on major cities.
Anti-regime activists say some 20,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March 2011.
At least 18,000 people have now been killed in Syria since the anti-Assad revolt began. At least 170,000 have fled the country, according to the United Nations, and 2.5 million need aid inside Syria.
The UN observer mission, that began in Syria in April to oversee a ceasefire declared on April 12 by Kofi Annan, ended up as an impactless endeavour. The UN military observers were compelled to remain as silent spectators of the conflict that went on escalating and the ceasefire - it never came into effect.
The UN's newly appointed special envoy to Syria, Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, acknowledged that he had no concrete ideas to end the conflict and that his mission would be difficult without a unified position by the UN Security Council.
The rights groups and activists said shelling on Monday by tanks and warplanes caused two houses to collapse in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, killing at least 14 people. The buildings were in the Al-Sakhour and Qadi Askar neighborhoods, said activist Mohammed Saeed, reached by Skype inside the city.
Aleppo has been the scene of daily battles for several weeks now, with forces loyal to President Bashar Assad trying to wrest control from the rebels but without making much headway.
In the southern city of Daraa, birthplace of the anti-regime uprising in March, 2011, intense fighting between government troops and rebels killed six people, including two children and two women, the groups said.
An activist in the Damascus area, El-Said Mohammed, said seven people were killed and at least 70 wounded when government forces shelled the town of Moadamiyeh with tanks and mortars. He said the defection on Sunday to the rebels' side of some 30 troops along with a tank from army forces in the area may have been behind Monday's shelling.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Monday, August 20, 2012, 18:28