DAMASCUS/MOSCOW, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Clashes in the capital Damascus and other areas across Syria claimed dozens of lives on Thursday, as the Arab League (AL) ruled out military support for the opposition and military intervention in the crisis.
Clashes took place between Syrian troops and armed rebels in Damascus' suburbs of Douma, Harasta, al-Razi orchards, Muadamyiah and Daraya, and have become a daily occurrence across Syria, particularly around the capital.
Four civilians were injured by the explosion of a booby-trapped motorcycle near a mosque in the northern city of Aleppo.
Separately, two army soldiers were killed and five others injured in clashes with armed groups in the northwestern province of Idlib. And dozens of armed men were killed or injured in the fighting.
A Syrian foreign ministry source said Thursday that the armed groups in central Homs province opened fire at a convoy carrying volunteers of the Syrian Red Crescent and the International Red Cross, blocking the humanitarian help to the troubled people.
The source said the Syrian government has not reneged on its promises to allow in aid and evacuate the troubled people. "But the armed groups have committed a crime by shooting at the joint convoy and by rejecting the evacuation of the sick and injured citizens."
Meanwhile, opposition activists reported heavy shelling by government troops in several Syrian areas, including suburbs of Damascus.
The activists' network, Local Coordination Committees, said heavy clashes occurred overnight in Damascus' neighborhood of Kafar Souseh between government troops and the Free Syrian Army, adding military reinforcements were sent to the area.
It also alleged that as many as 100 people were killed Thursday nationwide, a claim that couldn't be possibly verified as it's based on tallies and reports from unknown parties.
In a rare incident Thursday, a Syrian air force pilot defected along with his MIG-21 fighter jet to neighboring Jordan, pleading for political asylum.
Jordan's cabinet afternoon decided to grant political asylum to the Syrian pilot, who was later branded by the Syrian Defense Ministry as "traitor to his homeland and military honor."
On the diplomatic front, an AL senior official said Thursday that no UN resolutions on Syria have ever envisaged military support for the opposition or military intervention in the crisis in that country.
AL Deputy Secretary General Ahmed Ben Helli said during his visit to Moscow that calls by Saudi Arabia and Qatar for military intervention in Syria and arming the Syrian opposition were not the AL's consolidated position.
"Many still remember the Libyan experience and in this situation no one wants to repeat military intervention. I guess this option has not been considered neither in Russia nor in the AL, U.S. or Europe," he said.
Ben Helli urged Moscow to stop military-technical cooperation with Damascus, but admitted that the UN did not prohibit military shipments to the Syrian government.
"To implement this plan (six-point peace plan), we need to find a new mechanism, and the mandate of the special envoy needs to be revised to make sure that all the parties will be committed to implement the plan," he said.
Iran should be among the participants in the international conference on Syria scheduled for June 30 in Geneva, Ben Helli said, adding: "All players involved in the crisis in Syria must be a part of this coming contact group."
AL Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi is expected to visit Russia soon, he said.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it was senseless to press Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to quit office.
"This scheme does not work from the beginning. It is incapable because he will not go," Lavrov told local media.
The top Russian diplomat said at least half of Syrians voted for Assad during the latest elections, seeing him as a guarantor of their future and security. Assad's future must be decided by the Syrians themselves, he added.
Lavrov also said Russia would continue to execute contracts signed long ago with Damascus on arms supply.
In Rio, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called for an immediate end to violence in Syria, and urged concerned parties to open political dialogue so as to peacefully resolve the crisis. They also reiterated support for the six-point peace plan on Syria tabled by joint UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan.