Syria doomed to ‘hell‘ without political deal -envoy

MOSCOW/AZAZ, Syria (Reuters) – The international mediator touting a peace plan for Syria warned  yesterday of “hell” if the warring sides shun talks, and Moscow accused enemies of President Bashar al-Assad of blocking negotiations.UN-Arab Lea-gue envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said in Moscow that responsible people inside and outside Syria should “help the Syrians stop their descent into more and more bloodshed, into more and more chaos and perhaps a failed state.”

Efforts to find a negotiated solution to a 21-month-old war that has killed some 45,000 people have floundered, with the opposition, buoyed by rebel military advances, demanding that Assad be excluded from power before any talks can proceed.

In a sign that the war may not quickly be won, government forces – in retreat for much of the past few months – scored a victory in the strategically important central city of Homs, where they pushed rebels from a district after days of fighting.

But in the north, Syria’s national airline had to cancel a flight from Cairo to Aleppo, according to Egyptian airline officials, due to insecurity at an airport that rebels have declared as a target and where explosions were heard over-night.

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