Twenty-seven Syrians were killed in clashes between rebels and the army today as the United Nations said it has been informed by the government that troops are being withdrawn in line pledges by President Bashar al-Assad.
Syrian security forces attacked urban areas with sniper fire and heavy machine guns yesterday, as United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan said the government has “severely” tested the organization’s patience.
A United Nations team headed to Damascus to discuss deploying unarmed peacekeepers after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to an April 10 cease-fire that Western nations say they doubt he will respect.
At least 17 people were killed in violence in Syria, a day after the United Nations Security Council unanimously backed sending observers to monitor a cease- fire agreement between President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and rebel groups fighting to oust him.
Russia urged Syria to accelerate a troop pullout scheduled to be completed today under a United Nations plan, as the Middle Eastern state demanded guarantees about the opposition’s commitment to the peace efforts.
Vladimir Putin is counting on a diplomatic victory in Syria to assert Russia’s influence in global foreign policy as he prepares to return to the Kremlin, analysts and former diplomats from Moscow to London said.