Synthesis on Syria

In a recent Al Jazeera article, the Syrian government is demanding “written guarantees” from rebel groups that they must drop their weapons before the government can proceed with withdrawing its troops. Rebels say they also want a ceasefire but will only answer to the international community and not the government so they will not present written guarantees to the government. About two weeks ago, President Bashar al-Assad agreed to the six-point peace agreement brought forward by Kofi Annan. In the agreement, it calls for a ceasefire by Tuesday, April 20th. In the Al Jazeera article, it says the troops must withdraw from towns and villages but in an article by CNN, it says the government must pull troops out of urban areas and checkpoints. However, according to BBC, it vaguely states that all troops must be withdrawn from all populated areas. Since the government indicated its intention to adhere to the peace agreement, violence has escalated. CNN estimated at least 69 people were killed on Sunday alone and that at least 525 people were killed since the peace plan was announced. It is believed that most of the victims were civilians. BBC also had similar numbers and estimated an outrageous 180 deaths  during this weekend alone. Kofi Annan and the international community were shocked to hear of such violence. A spokesperson for the foreign ministry of the Syrian government said reports of Syria committing to withdrawing troops by Tuesday were false.  At this point it is unlikely the ceasefire will occur by Tuesday. How will Annan and the UN-Arab League respond on Tuesday if the ceasefire does not occur? Will military intervention be next?


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