The Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian Crisis, Kofi Annan, today condemned “in the strongest possible terms” attacks that took place earlier Thursday in Damascus.
“These abhorrent acts are unacceptable and the violence in Syria must stop,” Mr. Annan’s spokesperson said in a statement. “He is saddened by the loss of life resulting from the two blasts and extends his condolences to the families of the victims.”
According to media reports, there were two strong explosions in the Syrian capital on Thursday, which have killed or wounded dozens of people. The blasts occurred in the vicinity of what is reported to be a military intelligence building.
The crisis in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 9,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands. Mr. Annan’s spokesperson said the Joint Special Envoy reiterates his call to all parties to adhere to an agreed cessation of violence.
“Any action that serves to escalate tensions and raise the level of violence can only be counter-productive to the interests of all parties,” he said, adding that Mr. Annan calls on all parties to avoid further bloodshed and to protect civilians.
On Wednesday, a bomb blast went off in the vicinity of a convoy of observers serving with the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), injuring several Syrian soldiers accompanying the delegation, while approaching the southern city of Dar’a.
Authorized by the Security Council last month, UNSMIS is tasked with monitoring the cessation of violence in the country and supporting the full implementation of a six-point plan put forward by Mr. Annan.
The plan calls for an end to violence, access for humanitarian agencies to provide relief to those in need, the release of detainees, the start of inclusive political dialogue that takes into account the aspirations of the Syrian people, and unrestricted access to the country for the international media.