Rebel chief Riad al-Asaad 'threatens new Syria attacks'


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The Independent Online

Syria's rebel leader has threatened to resume attacks because President Bashar Assad's government has not honoured a ceasefire, a pan-Arab newspaper reported today.

Free Syrian Army chief Riad al-Asaad told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that "our people are demanding that we defend them".

The comments were published in today's edition of the paper and could deal yet another blow to a peace plan brokered by United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan.

Both sides of the conflict are accused of violating the ceasefire at the centrepiece of Mr Annan's plan.

Yesterday, Mr Annan gave a bleak assessment of the crisis in Syria, saying violence remains at "unacceptable levels" and warning that his peace plan is the country's last chance to avert a disastrous civil war.