Fighting in Syria on Tuesday left at least 120 dead from clashes near Damascus, Homs and Aleppo. Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that more preparations for the Syrian peace talks will take place this month, with the actual talks unlikely to take place before October.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that "on-site activities are essential if the United Nations is to be able to establish the facts and clear all the doubts surrounding" the claims about chemical weapons being used in Syria. Separately, UN chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom was in London last week to examine physical evidence.
Humanitarian aid workers are undergoing an ordeal every day in Syria as they try to reach people in need. "The way the country and the map is drawn these days, it's not as simple as to say you're moving from government-held territory into opposition-held territory," says Matthew Hollingworth, head of the World Food Programme's Syrian operation.
Lakhdar Brahimi, the new United Nations-Arab League special envoy to Syria, told the world body's General Assembly on Tuesday that a Syrian-led political transition would only work if members "pull in the same direction." Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the Syrian regime and its opponents had carried out human rights violations, adding that "those who provide arms to either side are only contributing to further misery." Brahimi is expected to travel to Damascus in the coming days.