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Syrian TV presenter ‘kidnapped and executed’

The news comes as new fighting is reported in Aleppo and Damascus.

Homs: A citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network SNN, taken on Friday
Homs: A citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network SNN, taken on Friday
Image: AP Photo/Shaam News Network, SNN

A SYRIAN TV presenter, Mohammad al-Saeed, has been executed, it is being reported by AFP this afternoon.

Al-Saeed was kidnapped last month and it is believed that the Al-Nusra Front claimed it had carried out the execution.

Loans

Meanwhile, senior Syrian officials have pleaded with Russia for financial loans and supplies of oil products.

Meanwhile, the BBC says that new fighting has been reported in Damascus and Aleppo, where rebels are entrenched and being fought by government forces.

Yesterday, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution criticising the Security Council’s failure to act on the Syria conflict, which UN leader Ban Ki-moon said has become a “proxy war”.

Russia and China, which have vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions on Syria, were among high profile opponents of the resolution. The resolution is not legally binding.

Russian warships

While the Syrian delegation was holding talks in Moscow, a squadron of Russian warships was approaching Syria’s port of Tartus, the only naval base Russia has outside the former Soviet Union.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that some of the ships may call on the port to replenish their supplies.

Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil, who led a delegation of several Cabinet ministers on a trip to Moscow, told reporters on Friday that they have asked for a Russian loan to replenish Syria’s hard currency reserves, which have been depleted by international embargoes on Syrian exports.

Jamil said Syria may get the loan within weeks. Russian authorities did not issue any comments about the requests.

He also said that Damascus wants to get diesel oil and other oil products from Russia in exchange for crude supplies.

Shortages

Syria blames US and European Union sanctions for shortages that have left Syrians standing in long lines to pay inflated prices for cooking gas, sugar and other staples.

Syrian Oil Minister Said Maza Hanidi said the EU embargo led to fuel shortages affecting 20 million Syrians and that a deal with Russia should fix the problem.

In May, the US ambassador to Damascus denied that the international sanctions were to blame for the shortages.

- Additional reporting AP

Read: UN assembly hits out at Security Council failure on Syria>

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