** Syrian Forces Shell Damascus, 35 Killed**
Syrian government forces have renewed their attacks in the capital, Damascus, killing at least 35 people in a campaign of shelling and artillery fire.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told VOA that Wednesday's deaths occurred in southern districts where anti-government rebels operate.
Residents said the shelling and aerial bombardment were some of the fiercest since the army reasserted control over the opposition neighborhoods. They said rebels who left the city last month during a brutal army campaign had started to return.
In New York, United Nations political chief Jeffrey Feltman told the Security Council the U.N. views the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria "with growing alarm." He said about 2.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance while the number of displaced people in Syria and the flow of refugees to neighboring countries is growing.
The U.N. emergency relief coordinator, Valerie Amos, who was in Syria last week, said U.N. agencies last month provided food for more than 820,000 people across Syria. She said the humanitarian situation there has worsened since a previous visit in March.
**UN Chief to Visit Iran**
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to travel to Iran next week for a meeting of non-aligned nations, amid objections from the United States and Israel which say the visit sends a bad signal.
Mr. Ban's spokesman, Martin Nesirky, announced the trip Wednesday. He says the U.N. chief will convey the international community's concerns and expectations about Iran's nuclear program, terrorism, human rights and the crisis in Syria.
Nesirky says Mr. Ban is aware of the sensitive nature of his visit, but that boycotting would be a "missed opportunity."
The United States says it is concerned Iran will use its turn to host the 120-member group to "deflect attention from its own failings."