May 30, 2012 |
BEIRUT - United Nations monitors in Syria reported a new massacre Wednesday as diplomats at U.N. headquarters in New York scrambled to revive the faltering peace plan devised by special envoy Kofi Annan. The latest atrocity - the bodies of 13 men were found bound and shot near the eastern city of Dair Alzour - wasn't as gruesome as the massacre last week in Houla, where more than 100 people, mostly women and children, were killed, sparking international outrage. However, this latest incident again raised fear that Syria is headed inexorably into a vicious cycle of tit-for-tat mass killings and civil war. "All of the bodies had their hands tied behind their backs and some appear to have been shot in the head from a short distance," the U.N. said in a statement.
May 29, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived Monday in Damascus, Syria's capital, to try to rescue an already-faltering peace plan set back further by the massacre of more than 100 civilians, but there was no sign of diplomatic progress. The United Nations special envoy seemed to recognize that his blueprint, widely ignored since a cease-fire was declared in April, faced increasingly long odds. The truce was technically in effect on Friday when the civilians, most of them women and children, were massacred in Houla, a township in the central province of Homs.
May 8, 2012 |
BEIRUT — Violence in Syria has continued amid a cease-fire, increasing concern that the country is descending into a civil war that could have frightening implications beyond its border, United Nations envoy Kofi Annan told the Security Council on Tuesday. The U.N.-backed peace plan, meant to end the bloodshed of a 14-month antigovernment uprising, remains the only chance to stabilize the country, Annan said. "If it fails … and it were to lead into a civil war, it will not affect only Syria, it will have an impact on the whole region," he said at a news conference in Geneva after his briefing.
April 25, 2012 |
BEIRUT - The presence of United Nations-backed monitors in Syria is providing only brief respites from violence and in some cases may be making the situation worse, a spokesman for U.N. and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan said Tuesday. Annan spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said the small advance team of monitors is facing great difficulty in stemming the fighting between forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and opposition groups. "When they leave, the exchanges start again," Fawzi told U.N. Television in Geneva, referring to the monitors.
April 12, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Just hours into a cease-fire between the Syrian government and the opposition, the truce was already on shaky ground as more than a dozen people were reported killed and there was no sign that government tanks and heavy weapons had been withdrawn from contested areas. A draft resolution for a United Nations advance monitoring mission could be voted on as early as Friday in an effort to end unrest in the 13-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Diplomats who met Thursday said a force as large as 200 could eventually be sent to Syria if both sides pledge to honor the peace plan.
April 10, 2012 |
BEIRUT - A peace plan deadline for pulling back government forces in Syria came and went Tuesday as attacks across much of the country continued, leaving the international community with little besides condemnation for the country's leadership. But in a show of optimism that seemed to defy the bloody situation in Syria, United Nations and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan held out hope that a cease-fire might still be reached by Thursday as planned and that negotiations could begin between the government of President Bashar Assad and the opposition seeking Assad's ouster.
April 2, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Syria has agreed to an April 10 deadline to abide by a U.N.-backed peace plan that would require its forces to stop shelling opposition-held areas and withdraw tanks and heavy weapons from cities and towns, special envoy Kofi Annan told the U.N. Security Council on Monday. Annan, who proposed the six-point plan last month, has also reached out to the opposition and urged it to halt operations within 48 hours of the regime's ceasing its offensive. But rebels and activists, who have been calling for the fall of President Bashar Assad for a year, expressed skepticism, as they have with previous failed attempts to negotiate with the regime.
March 31, 2012 |
BEIRUT -- Clashes and shelling were reported across Syria on Friday, even as the former secretary-general of the United Nations said he expected an immediate cease-fire by President Bashar Assad's forces. At least 45 people were killed nationwide in the violence, according to the Local Coordination Committees, a coalition of opposition activist groups. The killings, including 14 in the northeast city of Dair Alzour and 12 in the central city of Homs, took place amid large protests across the country by activists demanding action in the Arab world in support of their cause.
March 28, 2012 |
Syria on Tuesday agreed to a peace plan put forward by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, but fighting raged on between government forces and rebels, officials and activists said. Some Syrian opposition figures said they held out little hope for the peace plan, which they said did not address their principal demand: the resignation of President Bashar Assad. Assad agreed to the six-point plan, endorsed by the U.N. Security Council, in a letter to Annan, an envoy of the United Nations and Arab League.
March 21, 2012 |
Speaking with an unusually unanimous voice on a divisive issue, the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday approved a statement supporting former Secretary-General Kofi Annan's peacemaking efforts in Syria and the delivery of aid for victims of the violence. The nonbinding vote included the support of Russia, which has stood in the way of previous council proposals on Syria. Moscow has opposed international intervention in the conflict and has a long-standing alliance with the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.