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Kif W Leich
14:40
Kif W Leich
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Jul 11 2012
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Sources say Syrian ambassador to Iraq defects

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Annan briefed a closed meeting of the U.N. Security Council by videoconference from Geneva on Wednesday on his meeting with Assad and visits to Iran and Iraq.        

Meanwhile, Interfax news agency quoted the deputy head of the Federal Service for Military Cooperation, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, as saying that Russia will continue providing Syria with anti-aircraft missile systems.          
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International stances
      

In international positions, the spokesperson for the French Foreign Ministry Bernard Valero said that the new Russian draft law on Syria in the U.N. Security Council “does not meet up with international expectations.”            

On another note, Iranian officials told international envoy to Syria Kofi Annan said that monitoring the Syrian borders to prevent the smuggling of weapons to the Syrian opposition is “the main problem”.     


Defection of Syrian ambassador to Baghdad

Syria's ambassador to Iraq defected in protest at the military crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad's forces against a 16-month revolt, Syrian opposition sources said on Wednesday.    

Nawaf al-Fares, who was closely linked to the security establishment, would be the first senior Syrian diplomat to defect. He is from Deir al-Zor which has been the scene of a ferocious military onslaught by Assad forces.


In the field          

The vicinity of rural Damascus witnessed clashes between government forces and opposition fighters, followed by a wide scaled campaign of raids and arrests. Shelling on Wednesday mainly targeted the central city of Homs, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.          

At least 9 deaths were reported as violence swept across Syria.  
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