Syrian forces bombarded towns
in the northern province of Aleppo on Saturday, as the conflict
spilled into neighbouring Lebanon, where two girls were killed
by shelling from across the border.
At least nine people were killed in Syria, including four
soldiers, a rebel and a civilian in Aleppo violence, the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said.
"Regime forces are attempting to regain control over this
(Aleppo) region, where they suffered heavy casualties over the
past months to rebels," the Observatory said, adding that the
bombardment killed a civilian and wounded dozens in the town of
"A large number of families have been displaced from the area
for fear of shelling and lack of water, electricity and medical
services," the watchdog added of the attacks in the Northern
The violence came a day after 93 people were killed across Syria
on Friday, as dozens of protesters took to the streets calling
for a "People's liberation war."
In Lebanon, a teenager died when a rocket hit her house in the
border region of Wadi Khaled, a Lebanese security official said,
adding that five others were wounded by rockets and exchanges of
"A few hours later, an eight-year-old Bedouin girl, who recently
fled with her parents from Syria, was killed," said a hospital
source in Akkar province.
"A military expert who visited the site said it was either a
mine planted in the area or an explosive they were handling,"
the security source said, after initially reporting that a shell
had hit their tent.
A local official said clashes had broken out at dawn between the
Syrian army and gunmen on the Lebanese side of the border.
On Friday, some 100 nations and organisations meeting in Paris
called on the UN Security Council to adopt a transition plan for
Syria backed by economic sanctions if the regime refuses to
Concretely, they asked the council to urgently adopt a six-point
peace plan drawn up by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan under the
UN Charter's Chapter VII.
But the final statement stressed that any immediate action under
Article 41 provided only for non-military intervention.
The Annan plan, which insists on a cessation of violence by all
sides, has made little headway and activists say an estimated
16,500 people have now died since the uprising began in March
"We should go back and ask for a resolution in the Security
Council that imposes real and immediate consequences for
non-compliance, including sanctions," ranging from economic
measures to military force, US Secretary of State Hillary
In some of her toughest comments yet, Clinton said she thought
China and long-time Syrian ally Russia did "not believe they are
paying any price at all for standing up on behalf of the
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov "categorically"
rejected "the formulation that Russia supports Bashar al-Assad's
regime in the situation that has developed in Syria".
Although Moscow did not attend the meeting, a diplomatic source
insisted that "Russian political and security circles are
changing their position".
The meeting took place as news emerged that a general from
Assad's most trusted inner circle had defected in what would be
a major blow to the regime as it battles the opposition.
General Munaf Tlass, a boyhood friend of Assad, was a general in
the elite Republican Guard charged with protecting the regime.
He is the son of former defence minister Mustafa Tlass, a close
friend of Assad's late father and predecessor, Hafez.
In other developments, UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on Friday for
scaling down an observer mission in Syria to refocus on
political efforts to end the bloodshed.
He said the observers' mandate should remain unchanged, though
with a "reduced military observer component and the focus
shifting from monitoring a ceasefire that has never taken hold
toward a more political role.