The United Nations has confirmed that veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi will replace Kofi Annan as the UN-Arab League envoy tasked with brokering peace in Syria.
Mr Annan stepped down earlier this month after a ceasefire he helped negotiate collapsed. In his first tentative comments, Mr Brahimi admitted he was not over-confident he would be able to end the 17-month-old conflict.
“I might very well fail but we sometimes are lucky and we can get a breakthrough,” he told the BBC in an interview. But “these missions have to be undertaken. We have got to try. We have got to see that the Syrian people are not abandoned.”
On the ground, violence was also reported in other towns and villages across the country, with the bloodletting showing no signs of any let-up a day after the United Nations formally called time on its observer mission.