International Peace Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is to head to Damascus today (Thursday) to meet Syria’s President Bashar al Assad, an Arab diplomat in Cairo said, as fresh bloodshed gripped the north of the country.

In a single incident, rebels killed at least 18 soldiers in a car bomb and ground attack on a military position in Idlib province of northwest Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Separately, four Syrian Armenians were killed and 13 injured in the war-battered commercial capital Aleppo on the way home from the airport after a trip to Yerevan.