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  Syrian troops kill scores of rebels, parliament works for national dialogue  

  

 

Syrian media said Sunday that scores of armed rebels were killed nationwide during clashes with army troops, as the Syrian parliament were working to prepare for a national dialogue among all spectra of the Syrian people.

  DAMASCUS, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Syrian media said Sunday that scores of armed rebels were killed nationwide during clashes with army troops, as the Syrian parliament were working to prepare for a national dialogue among all spectra of the Syrian people.

  The Syrian army continued operations in several suburbs of the capital Damascus Sunday, killing 18 rebels in Douma and another 12 in Harasta, the pro-government Sham FM reported.

  The radio said the army has called on residents in the surrounding of the Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees to evacuate their homes due to the intensity of clashes between local committee and armed rebels inside the camp.

  Separately, army troops killed as many as 60 rebels in the countryside of the northern Aleppo province, the report said, adding that those rebels were killed while trying to storm a cotton factory.

  In the northwestern province of Idlib, Sham FM said, 15 militants were killed in the Binish town as the Syrian air force targeted armed groups' gatherings at the Taftanas airbase, which has recently been stormed by rebels and radical militants.

  On the opposition side, the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) reported shelling by army troops on several hotspots nationwide as well as intense clashes with the rebels' Free Syrian Army.

  Meanwhile, Chairman of the National Reconciliation Committee at the People's Assembly Omar Aussi stressed that the committee will work on getting engaged into in the political process and effectively contributing to make successful the implementation of the political program outlined by President Bashar al-Assad to solve the crisis.

  In a press conference held Sunday, Aussi said the newly- established and democratically-elected committee will take part in all the ongoing preparations to hold the comprehensive national dialogue, considering it as a safe and the only way out of the crisis.

  "We will work on spreading and consolidating the culture of citizenship and coexistence among the various spectra of the Syrian society with all its constituents," he said.

  Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi also issued Sunday a decision to form a ministerial committee to make intensive contacts with all the political forces and civil society bodies to start directly open dialogue sessions in preparation for holding the comprehensive national dialogue conference.

  The Syrian parliament also stressed that it will work to unify its members' efforts, including the national reconciliation committee, which was formed by the assembly, and through all available means to make the political program set by Assad a success.

  In a statement issued Sunday, the parliament said it will activate the political move and dialogue among all spectra of the Syrian people and political and intellectual parties. It vowed to mobilize the Syrians to be engaged in the national dialogue, so as to foil the attack targeting Syria and draw its political future in the framework of pluralism, democracy and protection of human rights.

  Assad has recently said embarking on a political solution does not mean to stop countering terrorism. The Syrian administration labels the rebels as "terrorists".

  Amid the stalemate in the Syrian political landscape, Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi said Sunday that the UN Security Council should dispatch peacekeeping forces to protect the Syrians, stressing in the meantime that the forces should not be sent for fighting.

  During the preliminary session of the AL Council's emergency meeting, Arabi called on the UN Security Council to issue a decision according to article No. 7 of the UN Charter to send peacekeeping forces to Syria to urge ceasefire there and protect the Syrian people.

  Arabi also said talks are underway with UN-AL joint special representative to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi to find a mechanism for solving the crisis, but added that there is no apparent solution in the near future.

  According to the UN estimates, more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the unrest erupted in 2011. Also, the World Food Program said around 2.5 million people in Syria are in need of food assistance, but only 1.5 million can receive supplies from the agency.

 

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