Syria Escalates Violence, Cease-Fire In Danger

Tanks roll into Damascus suburb in one of conflict's worst raids yet
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2012 8:06 AM CDT
Syria Escalates Violence, Cease-Fire In Danger
A Free Syrian Army fighter stands guard during the funeral for four people killed in a raid by government forces in a neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, April 5, 2012.   (AP Photo)

Syria is just days away from its cease-fire deadline, but the regime sent tanks and troops into a Damascus suburb yesterday, escalating the conflict in defiance of the Kofi Annan-brokered peace plan. "Clearly the violence is still continuing at alarming levels," Annan told the UN General Assembly yesterday, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Military operations have not stopped." That pronouncement came after the UN Security Council officially gave its support to Annan's plan.

Annan said the government had assured him that, while it was stepping things up in Damascus, it was withdrawing troops from Idlib, Deraa, and Zabadan. But activists and residents say that's not true; in Idlib, for instance, they report that soldiers are still patrolling the streets, arresting military-aged men. The rebels haven't stopped fighting either, killing five soldiers yesterday. "Can we be optimistic? I am not," French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said. "Because I think Bashar al-Assad is cheating us." (More Syria stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.