Accessibility links

UN Envoy Wants Major Syria Meeting As Fighting Escalates

The UN special envoy for Syria is calling for an urgent meeting of world and regional powers to maintain the deteriorating cease-fire in the country.

Staffan de Mistura said on April 22 that a ministerial meeting of the International Syria Support Group -- which includes the United States, Russia, the European Union, Iran, Turkey and Arab states -- needs to be held.

De Mistura said the political talks on Syria's future are stalled, the cease-fire is unravelling, and much of the limited humanitarian aid deliveries have been blocked.

The cease-fire took effect in Syria at the end of February, but fighting in the country has gradually escalated in recent weeks, particularly around Aleppo.

Reports say air strikes on rebel-held parts of Syria's largest city, Aleppo, have killed at least 25 people and wounded dozens of others.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian warplanes carried out the air strikes, which were in the opposition-held eastern part of the city.

Two barrel bombs reportedly also hit the southern Aleppo district of Bab al-Nayrab, killing an ambulance driver.

Civil defense workers also reported three people killed by artillery in Bustan Al-Qasr, one of the city's most-populated neighborhoods.

At least 270,000 people are estimated to have been killed in Syria's five-year-long conflict, with millions of others forced to flee their homes.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters