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Syrians want ceasefire to hold but fear it will fail

DAMASCUS — Syrians voiced hope that a UN-backed ceasefire that came into force Thursday would last, but expressed fear that the government and the rebels were unlikely to commit for good. “Inshallah (God willing) it will last,” said Wassim, standing in his shop in a Damascus square and speaking of…

Britain to boost Syria opposition support if no ceasefire

WASHINGTON — Britain will boost support for Syria’s opposition and seek tougher sanctions if government forces do not adhere to a ceasefire, Foreign Secretary William Hague warned Wednesday. Hague spoke at a meeting of the Group of Eight powers in Washington as Syria said that it would cease operations against…

Syria declares halt to military operations on Thursday

The Syrian defence ministry said Wednesday that it will cease military operations against rebel fighters from Thursday, the day set by peace envoy Kofi Annan as a deadline to halt hostilities, state television reported. “After our armed forces completed successful operations in combating the criminal acts of the armed terrorist…

Syrian troops enter rebel areas despite ceasefire pledge

Fierce clashes erupted on Tuesday as Syria’s regime sent reinforcements into rebel areas despite a truce pledge, and the UN said it was rushing a team to Damascus to pave the way for peace monitors. The surge in violence killed at least 38 people, including 25 civilians, mostly in north…

Syria bolsters assault on rebels despite peace plan

Fierce clashes erupted Tuesday as Syria’s regime sent reinforcements into rebel areas and the West sought to warnDamascus of UN action unless it sticks to an agreement to pull back its armour. Peace envoy Kofi Annan on Monday told the UN Security Councilthat President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to “immediately” start pulling back his forces and complete…

Damascus bombs kill 27 as Syria gears up for monitors

Two huge bomb blasts killed at least 27 people in the heart of the Syrian capital on Saturday, state media said, as international envoy Kofi Annan warned of regional fallout from the year-long bloodshed in Syria. The early morning “terrorist” attacks, apparently car bombings timed minutes apart, targeted criminal police…

Syria pounds protest city hours before Kofi Annan visit

Syrian troops heavily shelled the northwestern protest city of Idlib early Saturday, in an apparent prelude to a ground assault just hours before the scheduled arrival of international peace envoy Kofi Annan, a watchdog and an activist said. “It’s the heaviest bombardment since troop reinforcements were sent to Idlib earlier…

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