In Paris, Ban urged a unilateral truce by al-Assad’s regime.
“I have conveyed to the Syrian government [a] strong message that they should immediately declare a unilateral ceasefire,” Ban said while addressing a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande.
With the rebels under some of the fiercest fire since the uprising began almost 19 months ago, exiled opposition leader Abdel Basset Sayda crossed from Turkey on Monday into rebel-held territory in the north for talks with Free Syrian Army commanders, rebel sources said.
Sayda has been attempting to broaden the base of the exiled opposition bloc, but only to those groups that back the armed rebellion against al-Assad’s rule.
His visit to the town of Bab al-Hawa, just across the border from Turkey, came with tensions still running high after the shelling of a Turkish border village last week killed five civilians, including a mother and her three children.
A shell from the Syrian side hit the Altinozu district of Turkey’s Hatay Province on Monday, causing no casualties, but sparking a retaliatory bombardment of Syrian army positions, a Turkish official said.
Yesterday, Turkey’s top military commander, General Necdet Ozel, inspected troops in Hatay Province near the border with Syria, local media reported.