Peace envoy Brahimi, Assad talk on 'worrying' Syria situation
DAMASCUS (AFP) - Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Monday held talks with Syria's president on the "worrying" situation in the country, as Damascus fended off accusations its forces bombed a bakery killing dozens of civilians.
Activists meanwhile accused President Bashar al-Assad's regime of unleashing killer gas bombs in the central city of Homs, even as Russia downplayed fears that Syrian forces would use chemical weapons against the armed opposition.
"I had the honour to meet the president and as usual, we exchanged views on the many steps to be taken in the future," Mr Brahimi told reporters at his Damascus hotel, a day after he arrived to launch a fresh bid to end the conflict roiling Syria.
The UN-Arab League envoy said the Syrian crisis was "always worrying", with more than 44,000 people killed since the uprising against Mr Assad's regime erupted in March last year, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of medics and activists on the ground.