Fierce Fighting in Syria Despite Pullout Claims (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 04/04/12)
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Fierce clashes erupted Wednesday after Syria’s regime sent
reinforcements into rebel areas despite a truce pledge.
Syrian activists said there have been explosions and clashes across
the country on Wednesday.
The surge in violence, which began even as Syrian officials claimed a
pullout was underway, killed at least 74 people, mostly in
northwestern Idlib province.
Opposition figure Mohammed Saleh told The Associated Press there has
been a series of loud blasts in the central Homs region, and heavy
machine gun fire in parts of the old city.
Activist Mohammed Saeed in the Damascus suburb of Duma told al-
Arabiya that regime troops were carrying out raids and arrests on
Wednesday. He said tanks and checkpoints remain in place.
Rights activists also charged Wednesday that the army is torching and
looting rebel houses across the country in a campaign that could
amount to crimes against humanity.
Dozens of armored personnel carriers arrived in Dael, a town in Deraa
province where the uprising against Assad began in March 2011, as
well as in Zabadani, a bastion of the rebellion near the border with
Clashes in the Atbaa area of Deraa left three civilians and two
soldiers dead, activists told AFP.
In Idlib, heavy fighting took place on the outskirts of the town of
Taftanaz, where scores of civilians, rebels and government soldiers
were killed amid heavy machinegun fire and shelling, the Britain-
based monitoring group said.
Earlier this week, UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan told the UN
Security Council that President Bashar al-Assad had given assurances
he would “immediately” start pulling back his forces and complete a
military withdrawal from urban areas by April 10.
The United States accused Assad of failing to honor his pledged troop
Russia, however, said the Syrian government has informed Moscow that
it has started implementing UN envoy Kofi Annan´s six-point peace
In Geneva, UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan´s spokesman said an
advance team from the United Nations´ peacekeeping department will
arrive in Damascus within 48 hours.
"A DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations] planning mission
should be arriving in Damascus within 48 hours," spokesman Ahmad
As part of the six-point peace plan put forward by Annan to halt the
violence, UN peacekeepers are planning for a ceasefire monitoring
mission that would have 200 to 250 unarmed observers.
Doing so, however, require a Security Council resolution.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 04/04/12)
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