Syrian state newspaper criticizes visiting UN envoy over plan to halt conflict in areas

A Syrian state newspaper has criticized the United Nations envoy to Syria for pursuing a plan that involves halting fighting in certain areas of the war-ridden country.

The daily Al-Thawra newspaper warned Saturday that veteran diplomat Staffan de Mistura took a "hasty" attitude in his briefing before the U.N. Security Council last week.

The editorial came as de Mistura arrived in Beirut and left immediately by land to Syria's capital, Damascus, where he will begin a three-day visit later Saturday.

De Mistura is expected to meet high-ranking Syrian officials to present his new initiative on establishing "frozen zones" to halt fighting, especially in the contested northern city of Aleppo.

Al-Thawra said de Mistura has deviated from the "limits of the international mission" he was entrusted with. It did not elaborate.