Syria violence undiminished by cease-fire deal

Rebels, army clash in north as Homs shelled; activists dismiss April 10 cease-fire pledge; Turkey: UN complicit in oppression.

April 3, 2012 20:29
2 minute read.
Damage rubble in the old city of Homs

Damage rubble in the old city of Homs_370. (photo credit: Reuters)

BEIRUT - Opposition activists accused Syrian troops of shelling two cities on Tuesday in a campaign to weaken forces fighting President Bashar Assad's government before a

Turkey blames the UN
The opposition Syrian National Council has endorsed Annan's six-point peace plan but made no official comment on the April 10 cease-fire target. Rebels of the Free Syrian Army have said they will stop shooting if tanks and artillery withdraw from cities.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused the UN Security Council of indirectly supporting the "oppression" of the Syrian people by failing to adopt a united stance on Syria.

"In not taking a decision, the UN Security Council has indirectly supported the oppression. To stand by with your hands and arms tied while the Syrian people are dying every day is to support the oppression," Erdogan told members of his party.

Annan, who acts for the United Nations and the Arab League, told the UN Security Council on Monday he would have liked to see a cease-fire sooner. Some council members were concerned that the next week could be used to intensify army operations.

Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi, speaking in Geneva, said the aim was to bring a complete end to hostilities by April 12.

A UN peacekeeping advance team was due in Damascus in the next two days to discuss the deployment of monitors, Fawzi said. A team of up to 250 unarmed observers is envisaged although it will require a Security Council resolution.

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