UN pushes for local ceasefires in Syria as Russia and Iran step up involvement in the country’s civil war. Sean Carberry reports.
STORY: The UN's Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson believes the recent escalation of fighting in Syria could pave the way for peace talks. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL, JAN ELIASSON, SAYING: "If there is political will now, I think paradoxically we could use a serious part of the risks involved with the present escalation as a good reason to now, really, create a credible track on the political area." The UN is pushing for local ceasefires, and Eliasson says de-escalation could help lead to talks. Meanwhile, Iran is providing more troops to bolster Syrian forces. Speaking in Damascus, the chairman of Iran's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, says U.S. efforts to fight rebels in Syria have failed, which is why Iran and Russia are increasing their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) HEAD OF THE IRANIAN PARLIAMENT NATIONAL SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY COMMITTEE, ALAEDDIN BOROUJERDI, SAYING: "The Russians, too, are backing a political solution to end the crisis in Syria. But, at the same time, because terrorists do not understand anything but force, naturally that same language has to be spoken to them," Russia started bombing in Syria on Sept. 30 saying it was targeting Islamic State. On Thursday, Russia's Defense Ministry released a video showing its jets that carried out 33 sorties over Syria in the last 24 hours, striking dozens of Islamic State targets. Amateur video uploaded to a social media website appears to show Russian air strikes on the city of Homs. Syrian opposition on the ground and Western states say Moscow's air campaign has mainly targeted rebel groups not associated with Islamic State. That's fueling a growing standoff between Moscow and Washington.