Violence erupts ahead of Syria ceasefire
Wednesday 11 April 2012
Activists are reporting fresh violence in different parts of Syria today less than 24 hours before a UN-brokered ceasefire is to take effect.
The Local Co-ordination Committees said there was shelling of several rebel-held neighbourhoods in the central city of Homs.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said "tens of army vehicles" were deploying in the southern town of Maaraba amid intense shooting.
The ceasefire is scheduled to begin at 6am tomorrow.
The new violence came as international envoy Kofi Annan appealed to Syria's key ally Iran to support his plan to end the violence, saying that "any further militarisation of the conflict would be disastrous".
Mr Annan spoke to reporters after talks on Tuesday with foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi.
The UN-Arab League envoy has been pushing Damascus to withdraw its troops from cities and halt all violence in 48 hours to salvage his peace plan.
He said in Tehran that he and his host agreed on the need to "find a peaceful solution to the crisis" and he voiced optimism that the situation on the ground would improve by Thursday morning.
Mr Salehi insisted that "change in Syria" should come under the leadership of Assad.
Earlier, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton vowed to pressure Russia over the crisis, saying its refusal to support action by the United Nations Security Council was keeping Assad in power.
Mrs Clinton said the US would again try to persuade Russia, a key Syrian ally, to support action that would at least allow humanitarian access, when foreign ministers of the G8 meet in Washington today.
She warned that the danger was rising of regional conflict and civil war flaring from the violence in Syria.
Russia's "refusal to join us in some kind of constructive action is keeping Assad in power, well-armed, able to ignore the demands of his own people, the region and the world", she said.
Bali Nine executions live: Indonesian firing squad shoots dead eight drug offenders despite outcry around world, but a ninth is spared
Keith Harris dead: Orville the Duck ventriloquist dies aged 67 following battle with cancer
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...
£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...