Syria links troop pullback from cities to ‘security’
Syrian troops will stay in residential areas of cities until “peace and security” prevail, the government says.
A foreign ministry spokesman made the announcement after the UN’s peace mission to Syria called for troops to be withdrawn as a good faith gesture.
President Bashar al-Assad has nominally accepted a peace plan proposed by UN envoy Kofi Annan.
However fighting has continued between government and opposition forces, with 40 people reportedly killed on Friday.
The UN believes at least 9,000 people have died in the year-long revolt against Mr Assad’s rule.
Many victims are said to have been civilians killed by government shelling.
“The presence of the Syrian Arab army in Syrian cities is for defensive purposes [so] as to protect the civilians,” Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi told state media.
“Once peace and security prevail, the army is to pull out.”
On Friday, Mr Annan’s spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said the UN envoy expected President Assad to implement the peace plan immediately.
The plan “specifically asks the government to withdraw its troops, to cease using heavy weapons in populated centres”, Mr Fawzi said.
“The very clear implication here is that the government must stop first and then discuss a cessation of hostilities with the other side and with the mediator.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said the peace plan, which was drawn up by the UN and the Arab League, was a “last chance” for Syria to stop the bloodshed.
Damascus, he told the Associated Press news agency in Istanbul, must accept the plan without delay.
“The regime must understand that if they miss this last chance, they will be facing strong measures by the international community,” he said.
Istanbul is hosting a 60-nation gathering of the “Friends of the Syrian People” this weekend aimed at finding ways to help Syria’s opposition.
Source: BBC News
Once again al-Bastard is playing the world for fools citing ‘terrorists’.
THERE ARE NO TERRORISTS! The only terrorists are in al-Bastard’s tiny psychopathic head.
There are, however, Syrians rising up against the al-Bastard regime, and rightly so, given his track record.
al-Bastard is only using the word ‘terrorist’ because it is emotive and gives him the justification he needs to ignore the rights of the Syrian people.
Indiscriminate shelling of cities like Homs, killing hundreds of the very civilians that al-Bastard claims to be protecting. He has laid waste to the city without caring about the civilians. His soldiers have slaughtered children, slitting the throats of 12 year olds while their mothers watched. Carrying out hundreds of summery executions with a bullet in the back of the head; these are the actions of someone protecting civilians?
But a psychopath like al-Bastard could never accept this as even a remote possibility. He thinks the majority of Syrians love him. He doesn’t even recognise that he is finished. I would bet he even sleeps peacefully at night secure in the knowledge that what he is doing is right and not a crime against humanity.
I have the greatest respect for Kofi Annan and the attempts at a solution, but al-Bastard is paying lip-service to the peace plan giving the world the finger, using it to destroy more of Syria.
Until al-Bastard mets the same fate as Gaddafi Syria will not have peace.
Bashar al-Bastard cannot be allowed to continue, because he will continue as long as the world lets him.