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Syrian peace plan 'doomed' as Assad regime backs away from troop withdrawal deal

Damascus, Mon, 09 Apr 2012 ANI

Damascus, Apr 9 (ANI): The United Nations' peace plan for Syria has fallen into a state of disarray as President Bashar al-Assad's government backed away from a promise to complete a troop withdrawal before April 10 deadline, and continued its brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protestors.

The Syrian government said on Sunday that it won't end the violence, unless the rebels give written guarantees to stop fighting.

According to The Telegraph, Syria's foreign ministry defiantly claimed that a previous government commitment to halt the fighting by April 10 had been "misinterpreted" by Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League special envoy who drafted the ceasefire plan.

"To say that Syria will pull back its forces from towns on April 10 is inaccurate, Kofi Annan having not yet presented guarantees on the acceptance by armed groups to a halt of all violence," the Syrian foreign ministry said in a statement.

According to the paper, Annan accused Syria of breaking its word to him.

"I am shocked by recent reports of a surge in violence and atrocities in several towns and villages in Syria, resulting in alarming levels of casualties, refugees and displaced persons, in violation of assurances given to me," the paper quoted him, as saying.

Under the terms of the deal, which had not previously been challenged by the Assad regime, the rebels are meant to halt hostilities within 48 hours of the withdrawal by government forces.

Meanwhile, the country's opposition groups claimed that over 1,000 people had been killed since the UN-backed ceasefire deal was struck. (ANI)

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