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UN Envoy warns of mass death next year in Syria

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Asked if there is any willingness by Assad and the opposition to go into a political process, Brahimi said, "No, there isn't. This is the problem." He added that the two sides don't talk to each other and there is need for help from outside.

Brahimi hinted that that the Geneva plan might be adopted by the U.N. Security Council, saying, "We have a suggestion and I think that this suggestion will be adopted by the international community."

The Geneva plan was reached in international conferences this summer and has the backing of Russia and China, which have shielded Damascus, as well as the West.

But neither side within Syria appears interested. The rebels reject any efforts that do not call for the ouster of Assad, and Assad's government is unlikely to give up power voluntarily. It is unclear if Security Council backing would significantly up the pressure on either side to support it.

In Syria, activists reported violence from area ranging from the northern provinces of Idlib, Aleppo and Raqqa to the capital Damascus and its suburbs, to the central regions of Hama and Homs, to Daraa in the south.

Activists said Syrian rebels captured an oil pumping station in the north of the country after days of fighting. The Local Coordination Committees and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels captured the station in Raqqa on Sunday.

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