One of Russia's top ministers has blasted America for effectively justifying terrorism in Syria. Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, issued a no-holds barred attack on the US, saying there was no need for unilateral sanctions against Syria. But he didn't leave it there because he also berated Western nations which didn't condemn the attack last week that killed some top members of Assad's inner circle.
Lavrov seemed more than put out that America, Europe and other countries want to impose sanctions without asking Russia for any advice, saying "…."A unilateral way has been chosen. We think it contradicts a collective principle of doing business, it contradicts the (U.N.) Security Council decisions on Syria. And it directly contradicts agreements by the so-called action group in Geneva on June 30"
Meanwhile another of the Syrian President's Alawhite inner circle who defected a few weeks back - brigadier general Manaf Tlas - has made an appeal on Arabic TV. He asked his former comrades to denounce 'crimes' committed by Bashar al-Assad's forces but stopped short of urging soldiers to defect. It's the first appearance by Tlas since his defection and many see his televised statement on the al-Arabiya channel as another strike deep into the heart of Assad's fast crumbling regime.
Fighting has been relentless both in the northern commercial district of Aleppo and in the capital Damascus. This is unverified video footage of a bomb attack in Tablisah. According to opposition activists, the Syrian army's been pummelling rebels with a myriad of armoury including attack helicopters. Syrian state TV took great joy in broadcasting graphic images of dead rebel fighters they'd executed, laying them out spreadeagled on the ground, as well as a recent haul of weapons they'd seized.
In response to the worsening condition of the conflict, and in light of Syrian rebels seizing their side of the frontier this last week, the Turkish government says it's going to shut all of its borders with Syria to commercial traffic. Refugees will still be allowed through.