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UN Chief Calls for Arms Embargo on Syria

  • VOA News

A boy stands on rubble at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Maadi neighborhood of Aleppo, June 20, 2014.

A boy stands on rubble at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Maadi neighborhood of Aleppo, June 20, 2014.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Syria.

Speaking Friday at the Asia Society in New York, the U.N. chief called foreign powers "irresponsible" for giving military support to parties committing atrocities in the war-torn country. Russia has vetoed four resolutions on its ally, Syria, protecting it and blocking efforts intended to end the war.

In turn, Syria is warning the United Nations that any attempts to deliver humanitarian aid to rebel-controlled areas without government approval is tantamount to an "attack on the Syrian state."

Syria sent the warning in a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council just as the council is considering a resolution to boost aid deliveries into the war-torn country.

Meanwhile, Syrian state media say a car bomb blast has killed at least 34 people in a government-controlled area near the central city of Hama.

The SANA news agency said Friday the explosion also wounded another 50 people in the nearby village of al-Hurra.

It quoted police as saying "terrorists blew up a truck loaded with about 3 tons of explosives, which caused the destruction of a large number of houses in the village."

Syrian authorities use the term "terrorists" to refer to rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed Friday's attack, but said 37 were killed and more than 40 wounded. The Britain-based rights group said the death toll was likely to rise, as many were seriously hurt in the pre-dawn bombing

The Islamic Front rebel coalition claimed responsibility for the attack, saying on Twitter that it was targeting a gathering of government militants.

Car bombings have become commonplace in Syria's civil war, which began in 2011. More than 150,000 people have been killed in the conflict, and about 2.5 million Syrians have fled abroad.

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