Moscow urges Syria to stop using force against civilians

Thousands of Syrian citizens wave their national flags during a pro-government demonsration in Damascus (AFP Photo / HO-Sana)
Moscow has voiced serious concern over the situation in Syria, where over a hundred civilians were killed north of the capital Damascus in a violent crackdown on protesters pleading for political reforms in the country.

"Moscow is seriously concerned over reports pertaining to the numerous casualties. The use of force against civilians and representatives of the authorities is unacceptable and must be stopped," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on Monday.

“We urge the Syrian government and the opposition to show maximum restraint, to abstain from provocations and repression, to obey the law and to respect international humanitarian laws,” the statement reads.

The ministry also called for an immediate start of a “responsible, comprehensive and detailed dialogue” to resolve domestic problems, as well as socio-economic problems, in the interest of all Syrians.

On Sunday, Syrian army operations in multiple cities, especially Hama, which is located 210 kilometers north of the capital Damascus, killed over 100 people, including eight policemen.

It has become one of the bloodiest days since the beginning of the anti-government uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime. On Monday, the Arab nation's security forces reportedly shelled Hama. So far, there have been no reports on casualties.