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Syria Update: Transition with Assad?; Chemical Resolution Progress; Rebels Take Border Post

By: ap
By: ap
Syria

In this Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 photo, a displaced Syrian mother comforts her baby in an abandoned area where she and her family have taken shelter after fleeing their village that turned into a battlefield between government forces and Free Syrian Army fighters in Idlib province, northern Syria. (AP Photo)

SYRIA-FOREIGN MINISTER
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Syria's foreign minister says his government will not accept any transition peace plan that excludes President Bashar Assad.
The foreign minister spoke today on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, a day after the Security Council approved a resolution that obliges Syria's government to comply with an international plan to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal. The resolution also endorsed the outcome of the Geneva conference between the government and the opposition in June 2012, which called for the establishment of a transitional government with full executive powers.
The Syrian opposition, which has been embroiled in a bloody conflict with Assad's forces for two and a half years, has repeatedly said it will not take part in any transition government that includes the president.
The latest statement from the foreign minister could mean that efforts to organize a second meeting of the opposition and the government later this year in Geneva may fail.

SYRIA
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syria's prime minister says Damascus will fully cooperate with U.N. inspectors charged with destroying the country's chemical weapons stockpile.
Wael al-Halqi's comments Saturday come a day after the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to purge Syria of its chemical weapons program.
Al-Halqi said in an interview with Lebanon's Al Manar TV that Syria "welcomed the resolution" and "will fulfill its international duties." He also said the government "will facilitate the work of the inspectors."
The U.N. resolution passed on Friday allows the start of a mission to rid Syria's regime of its estimated 1,000-ton chemical arsenal by mid-2014. It also calls for consequences if Syria fails to comply, but those will depend on the council passing another resolution in the event of non-compliance.

BEIRUT (AP) -- A Syrian activist group says rebels have captured a military post south of the country on the border with Jordan after four days of fighting.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 26 soldiers were killed in the battle as well as a number of rebels, including seven foreign fighters.
The post that was captured early Saturday served in the past as the customs office on the border with Jordan. It was turned into an army post years ago.
The post is in the southern city of Daraa where the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began in March 2011.
The uprising later turned into a civil war that killed more than 100,000 people, according to the U.N.
Rebels control other areas bordering Jordan.


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