BEIRUT, April 13 (Reuters) – Syrian forces loyal to
President Bashar al-Assad fought rebels near the border with
Turkey on Friday, threatening a ceasefire brokered by United
Nations peace envoy Kofi Annan.
Opposition activists called for mass demonstrations after
Friday prayers to test how Assad’s forces will tolerate a return
to peaceful protest, as international pressure mounted for
Damascus to fully comply with its commitments to Annan, by
withdrawing troops and heavy weapons.
BEIRUT, April 13 (Reuters) – Syrian opposition activists
called mass protests for Friday to test a fragile, day-old
ceasefire by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, and
international pressure mounted for Damascus to fully comply with
a U.N.-backed peace plan.
Anxious to build on a truce between the armed forces and
rebels which brought an eerie calm to Syria on Thursday, after
more than a year of clashes, the U.N. Security Council worked on
a resolution authorising U.N. observers to monitor it.
BEIRUT, April 12 (Reuters) – A U.N.-backed ceasefire aimed
at halting more than a year of bloodshed in Syria appeared to be
holding early on Thursday but activists saw no sign that
President Bashar al-Assad was pulling his forces out of restive
The flashpoint provinces of Homs, Hama and Idlib, which have
been under sustained shelling by Assad’s forces over the last
week, were calm after the 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) ceasefire deadline.
An activist in Damascus said the capital was also quiet.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – The deadline for a U.N.-backed ceasefire aimed at halting more than a year of bloodshed in Syria passed on Thursday with no immediate reports of violence.
People in the restive provinces of Homs, Hama and Idlib which have seen sustained shelling by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces over the last week, said the situation was calm after the 6 a.m. (11 p.m. Eastern Time) deadline expired.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian troops shelled villages, fired across frontiers and were accused of massacres in the hours before a deadline on Tuesday that many doubt can usher in a U.N.-brokered ceasefire and halt a 13-month slide into all-out civil war.
Diplomats trying to contain a crisis that has inflamed the Middle East and pitched old Cold War rivals into opposing camps will not wish to abandon their most comprehensive peace plan yet. The plan’s author, international envoy Kofi Annan, visits Turkey and Iran on Tuesday, while Russia hosts the Syrian foreign minister.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria’s conflict spilled over into Turkey on Monday and government forces battled rebel fighters near the border in clashes that appeared to doom a ceasefire less than 24 hours before a U.N.-brokered deadline for a Syrian army pull-back.
Under a deal brokered by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, Syria is to begin withdrawing troops from around urban centers by Tuesday, paving the way for a truce to start 48 hours later.
BEIRUT, April 5 (Reuters) – A senior Norwegian U.N.
peacekeeper flies into Damascus on Thursday to try to broker an
agreement that will allow observers to be deployed across Syria
to monitor a ceasefire demanded by an international peace plan.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accepted the plan,
which calls for him to withdraw heavy weapons from cities, and
his ally Russia said Syrian forces had begun to pull back.
BEIRUT, April 4 (Reuters) – Syrian opposition activists
accused forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad of bombarding
rebel areas on Wednesday as a U.N. mission was expected to
arrive in Damascus in a first step to implement an international
Activists said at least 80 people have been killed since
Tuesday despite the imminent arrival of the advance team from
the U.N. peacekeeping department.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – At least 70 people were killed in intense fighting in Syria over the past 24 hours, activists said on Wednesday, despite the imminent arrival of a U.N. team to discuss a possible mission to monitor a ceasefire set for next week.
Western powers were seeking U.N. Security Council endorsement of envoy Kofi Annan’s deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for an April 10 withdrawal of military forces, to be followed within 48 hours by a ceasefire by rebel forces.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Opposition activists accused Syrian troops of shelling two cities on Tuesday in a campaign to weaken forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s government before a ceasefire deadline next week.
Rebel fighters also kept up their attacks, killing three soldiers in separate actions in northern Syria, activists said.