(Reuters) - Both rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are intensifying violence in Syriaand striving for military gains rather than peaceful transition, the chief U.N. monitor in Syria said on Friday.
Major-General Robert Mood's comments came as Russia further dug its feet in against Western pressure to topple Assad, insisting it would not discuss a post-Assad Syria.
"Violence over the past 10 days has been intensified, again willingly by both parties, with losses on both sides and at significant risk to our observers," Mood said in Damascus.
"There appears to be a lack of willingness to see a peaceful transition. Instead there is a push towards advancing military positions."
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said discussions regarding a political transformation in Syria after Assad "are not being held and cannot be held, because to decide for the Syrian people contradicts our position completely".
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