Douglas's Feed
Apr 7, 2012

Relentless violence dims Syria truce hopes

BEIRUT, April 7 (Reuters) – Syrian troops pounded opposition
areas on Saturday, activists said, killing 43 people in an
offensive that has sent thousands of refugees surging into
Turkey before next week’s U.N.-backed ceasefire aimed at
staunching a year of bloodshed.

Each side has accused the other of intensifying assaults in
the run-up to the truce due to take effect early on Thursday if
government forces begin pulling back from towns 48 hours earlier
in line with U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

Apr 6, 2012

Syrian violence claims 27 dead in run-up to truce

BEIRUT (Reuters) – At least 27 Syrian soldiers, rebels and civilians were killed in violence on Friday, opposition activists said, four days before a troop pullback agreed to by President Bashar al-Assad as part of a U.N.-backed peace plan.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) said it had met a delegation from peace envoy Kofi Annan this week and confirmed its fighters would stop shooting if Assad withdraws his tanks and troops to barracks before a ceasefire deadline next Thursday.

Apr 5, 2012

Over 30 reported dead in Syria despite truce talk

BEIRUT, April 5 (Reuters) – Syria told U.N.-Arab League
envoy Kofi Annan it had begun pulling troops out of several
cities on Thursday in line with a peace plan accepted by
President Bashar al-Assad, but his foes said the army was still
firing in those towns and elsewhere.

Annan said the Syrian army and rebels must end all violence
by 6 a.m. Syrian time (0400 GMT) on April 12 if the government
meets its agreed deadline to halt fighting two days earlier.

Apr 4, 2012

It’s a walkie-talkie war on Syrian frequencies

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Between bursts of machinegun and mortar fire, Syrian rebels switch their struggle against President Bashar al-Assad to their radio sets, tuning in on army frequencies to urge the soldiers fighting them to desert.

“If you want to be a good person, you will defect from that army. You should come over here and serve your people. Don’t insult your dignity like this. I saw Assad’s oppression, I saw grief and injustice with you guys,” says a rebel voice.

Apr 3, 2012

Syrian cities bombarded as truce deadline nears

BEIRUT, April 3 (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.

Mar 31, 2012

Syria says revolt over, but army still shooting

BEIRUT, March 31 (Reuters) – Syria says the year-old revolt
to topple President Bashar al-Assad is over, but the army again
shelled opposition areas on Saturday and rebels said they would
not cease fire until tanks, artillery and heavy weapons are
withdrawn.

Washington and Gulf Arab states urged peace envoy Kofi Annan
to set a timeline for “next steps” if there is no ceasefire, and
Saudi Arabia repeated a call for rebels to be armed.

Mar 31, 2012

Syria says revolt over, Assad foes keep up pressure

BEIRUT, March 31 (Reuters) – Syria says a year-long revolt
to topple President Bashar al-Assad is now over, but it will
keep its forces in cities to “maintain security” until it is
safe to withdraw in line with a U.N.-backed peace deal.

The agreement proposed by United Nations-Arab League special
envoy Kofi Annan says the Syrian authorities must be first to
withdraw troops, and stop violence immediately.

Mar 31, 2012

Syria says revolt over, army to pull out gradually

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria says the year-long revolt to topple President Bashar al-Assad is now over, but it will keep its forces in cities to “maintain security” until it is safe to withdraw in keeping with a U.N.-backed peace deal.

The agreement proposed by United Nations-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan says the Syrian authorities must be first to withdraw troops and stop violence immediately.

Mar 30, 2012

Syrian army must pull back first under Annan plan

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian artillery hit parts of Homs city and at least five people were killed in clashes around the country on Friday, opposition activists said, as peace envoy Kofi Annan urged President Bashar al-Assad to order his troops stop shooting first.

“The deadline is now,” Annan’s spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in Geneva. “We expect him to implement this plan immediately.”

Mar 28, 2012

Syrian violence ignores peace diplomacy

BEIRUT, March 28 (Reuters) – Syrian forces bombarded cities
and towns in southern and northern Syria on Wednesday and
stormed villages, forcing thousands to flee after President
Bashar al-Assad accepted a peace plan calling for the army to
withdraw to barracks.

Assad’s ally Iran backed the peace plan, saying Syria’s
crisis “should be dealt with patiently”, and Russia said it was
now up to Syria’s opposition groups to also endorse the
proposals, which do not require Assad to give up power.