The rebels of the Free Syrian Army on Thursday gave President Bashar al-Assad regime 48 hours to implement the Annan peace plan, which includes a cessation of violence in the country, otherwise they see themselves free not to respect the plan. "If the Syrian regime does not meet the deadline of Friday noon, the command of the Free Syrian Army would be free not to abide to the Annan plan (...) and our duty is (... ) to protect civilians, " said the FSA in a statement.
The rebels called for a "commitment not to attack the U.N. observer mission and the opening of serious negotiations through the United Nations to restore power to the people."
The FSA said it would announce in the coming days "a series of decisive and courageous decisions for the next phase" of their struggle against Assad's forces, AFP news reported.
Meanwhile, In the Security Council, the divisions have resurfaced. The German Ambassador Peter Wittig has expressed hope that the killing in Houla "opened the eyes" of Assad's allies, such as Moscow and Beijing. However, the Russian representativeargued that the Syrian opposition also did not respect the Annan plan and refused any dialogue with Damascus.
For her part, the U.S. representative to the U.N.,did not rule out bypassing the U.N. if Kofi Annan’s peace plan failed. This, she said, was the mostly likely scenario. While Rice said only that the Security Council must discuss new action against Damascus, it has also been reported officials in Washington are on the verge of arming Syria's rebels.
Moreover, in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, U.S. senators and have called for providing weapons for the Syria's rebels forces.
“It is time to act. It is time to give the Syrian opposition the weapons in order to defend themselves,” Republican Sen. John McCain said, while Lieberman stated that the situation in Syria “will not get better until the rest of the world at least gives the arms” to the Syrian rebels, Press news reported.
On Wednesday, bloodshed continued in Syria as Annan left Damascus , the Syrian army resumed shelling of the town of Houla, the scene of a massacre denounced by the international community. The violence continues in Syria with yesterday's death toll at 62.