Syria says it will not withdraw troops from cities without written guarantees from the opposition

Syria says it will not withdraw troops from cities without written guarantees from the opposition

Damascus : Syria | Apr 08, 2012 at 8:35 AM PDT
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Fawaz Gerges on Annan's

Syrian officials won’t withdraw forces from the cities by April 10 if they don’t receive written guarantees of cease-fire from the opposition, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Sunday.

“To say that Syria will pull back its forces from towns on April 10 is inaccurate, Kofi Annan having not yet presented written guarantees on the acceptance by armed terrorist groups of a halt to all violence,” it said.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry added that the special envoy to Syria for the United Nations and the Arab League, Kofi Annan, “has not submitted written guarantees from the governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey on stopping their funding to terrorist groups.”

The spokesman of Syrian foreign ministry told reporters that gulf states pledged 100 million dollars to provide salaries for Syrian rebels fighting against the government, while the US said it will give them communication equipment.

The spokesman of Syrian foreign ministry, Jihad Makdissi, said it was more of "a misunderstanding" and that before any withdrawal, Damascus was seeking assurances.

Last month, international envoy Kofi Annan, said that Damascus accepted the deadline of April 10the to begin implementing his peace plan, which includes an immediate cessation of violence by all parties involved in the conflict and the withdrawal of government troops from cities.

Last week, Assad accepted a cease-fire agreement brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan calling for government forces to withdraw from towns and villages by Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army command, the military wing of the opposition to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, refused to provide written guarantees for a cease-fire, the Western media reported Sunday.

Moreover, Kofi Annan responded Sunday by saying "he was shocked by (the) rising violence in Syria." He called on the Syrian Government to fulfill its commitments. "As we approach the deadline of Tuesday, April 10, I remind the Syrian government the need to fully respect its commitments and emphasize that the current escalation of violence is unacceptable," Annan said in a statement.

"I am in constant contact with the Syrian government and I urge all states that have an influence on the parties to act now in order to secure the end of the bloodbath and start the dialogue," said the international envoy Kofi Annan .

On the ground, activists said Syrian troops continued to assault restive regions in the north and center of the country, killing at least 40 people, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

At least 160 people were reported killed across Syria on Saturday alone, three days ahead of the deadline to cease fire and pull back.

More as it becomes available.


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Syria says it will not withdraw troops from cities without written guarantees from the opposition
Demonstrators in Turkey placed banners beside mock coffins during a protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (Reuters)
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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