Beirut: A Syrian state-run newspaper yesterday accused UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of encouraging "terrorist" rebel attacks by focusing his criticism on the government, while other government media reported that the navy foiled an infiltration attempt by gunmen who tried to land on the Syrian coast in rubber boats.
The editorial in Tishrin daily came a day after Ban said Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's continued crackdown on protests has reached an "intolerable stage." It also followed what the state media said was a suicide attack in Damascus.
Ban said the UN will try to speed up the deployment of up to 300 monitors to Syria. Only 15 are there now.
The Syrian comments were the harshest against the UN since a plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan proposed an April 12 ceasefire to be followed by peace talks. Since that date, the UN has said the regime has broken many of its truce promises, such as withdrawing forces from towns and cities. Rebel fighters have also kept up attacks on Syrian security forces.
Annan's plan aims to end the country's 13-month crisis that has so far killed more than 9,000 people according to the UN.
Tishrin said Ban has avoided discussing rebel violence in favour of "outrageous" attacks on the Syrian government.
"The continued disregard of the international community and its cover for armed groups' crimes and terrorist acts ... is considered as direct participation in facilitating and carrying out the terrorism to which Syria is subjected," the editorial said.
"Such a stance seemingly encourages those groups to go on committing more crimes and terrorist acts," Tishrin said.
The Syrian capital was hit by four explosions on Friday that left at least 11 people dead and dozens wounded. Al Assad's government blamed the blasts on "terrorists," the term the government uses to describe opposition forces that it says are carrying out a foreign conspiracy.
Yesterday, the country's state-run news agency said military units stationed off the Mediterranean foiled an infiltration attempt by "armed groups" from the sea in the early hours of the day. Sana said the navy forced the boats to flee, but a Syrian service member was killed and several others wounded.
Yesterday's attempt was the first reported rebel infiltration from the sea. Syrian authorities have said in the past that they clashed with infiltrators trying to cross from neighbouring Lebanon or Turkey.