Syria: Few Options Remain After Failure of Ceasefire
Image from a YouTube video reportedly of a Syrian army tank attacking rebels in the town of Homs today.
April 10, 2012
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
The Syrian government’s failure to cease hostilities and withdraw its troops from urban areas combined with accelerated violence by government forces over the last week probably has doomed any chance of implementing a peace plan that was supposed to begin today.

There were new government attacks on Syrian rebels today, including shelling of the town of Homs. The Syrian opposition claims 100 to 160 were killed by government attacks yesterday and over 1,000 were killed in the last eight days.  UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said today there was "no evidence" of Syria adhering to the peace plan. The French Foreign Ministry dismissed Syria's claims of a troop withdrawal as "a new expression of this flagrant and unacceptable lie.”


1530 EDT Update: In a letter to the UN Security Council today, Kofi Annan expressed his "grave concerns" about developments in Syria and criticized the Syrian government for not withdrawing troops today per its agreement with him.  Annan said in his letter:


"While some troops and heavy weapons have been withdrawn from some localities, this appears to be often limited to a repositioning of heavy weapons that keeps cities within firing range . . . Furthermore, several new localities also appear to have been subject to military operations, including the use of heavy weapons on population centers."


Annan did not give up on his peace plan and urged Syria to use the next 48 hours to keep its word by implement a cease-fire by April 12.  The U.S. and other Western countries appear to have agreed to a request by Annan to gve Syria another 48 hours to carry out the peace agreement before they press for new action against Syria in the UN Security Council.


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