Wednesday, April 04, 2012

UN Monitors Head to Syria; Clashes Continue

UN monitors are headed to Syria while Syrian forces attack rebellious regions.

The crackdown follows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's agreement to an April 10 cease-fire brokered by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. The peace plan calls on the government to cease fire on April 10, with opposition forces following suit.

But fierce clashes between pro- and anti-government forces continued across the country Wednesday. Rights groups and activists said at least 50 people were killed in the latest round of violence.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov this week warned Western and Arab nations against arming Syrian rebels. Speaking on a trip to Azerbaijan Wednesday, Lavrov said “even if the Syrian opposition is armed to the teeth, it will not be able to defeat the Syrian army and the carnage will go on for years.”

Lavrov also said a foreign military intervention would lead to even more disastrous consequences for Syria, which has seen a yearlong uprising that has killed more than 9,000 people.