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UN-AL Envoy Warns Of Another “Somalia” As Syria Conflict Rages On

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The UN-Arab League (AL) joint special envoy to Syria on Sunday warned of a Somalia-like scenario for the Mideast country that was lapsing deeper into an escalating conflict.

At a press conference with AL Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi in Cairo, Lakhadr Brahimi said the situation in Syria is “very critical” and needs an urgent solution, otherwise the war-torn country might turn into another “Somalia”.

“Now, the Syrian people face two choices: a political solution that can meet the Syrians’ aspiration, or shifting Syria to hell,” said Brahimi.

The Algerian troubleshooter warned that about 100,000 people would die if the Syrian crisis lasts for one more year.

“Solving the Syrian crisis is the responsibility of the Middle East region, the international community and the UN Security Council,” he said.

In Damascus, the Syrian military said Sunday that government troops has wrested back control over the central town of Mork and repulsed an armed groups’ attack against an airbase in the northern province of Aleppo.

In a statement carried by the state-run SANA news agency, it said armed groups attacked on Sunday morning an airbase at the Sufaira town in Aleppo with rockets, mortars and machine guns, but the base’s troops repulsed the attack and killed large numbers of the assailants.

Government troops also continued operations in Deir Balba area in the province of Homs and Daraya suburb of the capital Damascus, according to the statement.

Also on Sunday, a pro-government daily said the Syrian army has dealt strong “successful” blows to the armed rebels in several areas across Syria, killing hundreds of them since last week.

The al-Watan daily said the army’s “qualitative” operations destroyed the armed militia’s hideouts, operation centers and infrastructure from the southern province of Daraa to the northwestern Idlib province, the eastern Deir al-Zour province and the outskirts of Aleppo province.

It said the army’s wide-scale operations were coupled with raid campaigns in several districts of the capital Damascus, during which many of the rebels were detained.

The army advanced in the eastern al-Ghouta, Douma and Daraya suburbs of Damascus, the paper said, adding that Daraya still had some rebels’ pockets and the army has imposed “suffocating” siege around the area.

Meanwhile, the paper said the road to the international airport of Damascus is “a hundred percent safe,” adding that commercial flights by the Syrian airlines are ongoing.

In the northern province of Aleppo, the paper said, the army advanced forward into the eastern part of the Aleppo city and wrested back control over the Transportation Directorate. It said the troops were also working to secure the surroundings of the airport of Aleppo, the military airbase of Nairab and the Raqaa- Aleppo road.

In neighboring Jordan, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said Sunday Jordan will continue receiving Syrian refugees out of its historic duty toward the brotherly Syrians.

Judeh said Jordan has received more than 250,000 Syrian refugees since the start of the unrest in Syria and underlined the need for a political solution to put an end to the violence and bloodshed in Syria.

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