56 killed in Syria; U.N. Security Council to meet

Here is a look at key events Tuesday in the ongoing crisis in Syria:

Violence

– 56 people were killed Tuesday, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists. Twenty people were reported dead in the Damascus suburbs, the group said.

– Fierce clashes began at dawn Tuesday between regime troops and rebels in the Damascus suburb of Qudsaya, according to the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

– The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported that authorities clashed with “terrorists” in Idlib and Douma, as well as al-Hameh town in the Damascus countryside. “Tens of terrorists” were killed, the news agency said, citing an official source; “a large number” were wounded, others were arrested, and weapons including rocket-propelled grenade launchers, sniper rifles and machine guns were seized.

– The Local Coordination Committees of Syria network has documented 840 deaths in Syria since a United Nations monitoring mission suspended its work June 16.

Tension with Turkey

– Turkey is changing its military rules of engagement and will treat any military approach from Syria as a threat, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday, after Syria shot down a Turkish military plane last week.

– NATO condemned Syria’s downing of the Turkish plane “in the strongest terms,” Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after the alliance met Tuesday at Turkey’s request. NATO did not promise any action in response to the incident and Turkey did not invoke the NATO article calling for collective defense of members, Rasmussen said.

Diplomacy

– The U.N. Security Council is set to receive a briefing on the monitoring mission Tuesday.

Syria’s government

– Syrian President Bashar al-Assad swore in his new Cabinet on Syrian state television Tuesday. The head of defense, the foreign minister and the interior minister all remain the same in the new government formed by Prime Minister Riyad Hijab.

– George Netto of the opposition Syrian National Council dismissed the new government, saying, “Any change in the government is fake under the same regime and under the same modus operandi.”

Source: CNN

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