United Nations envoy Kofi Annan implied today that a ceasefire in the civil war in Syria is imminent. Speaking in Tehran, he stated that, “If everyone respects it, by 6 a.m. on Thursday there should be a much improved situation on the ground.”
This is madness, or at least fanciful thinking. Last Sunday the Syrian government said that it wanted written guarantees that the rebels would stop fighting before it pulled back its troops. The Foreign Ministry said that reports of the government withdrawing its troops were a “wrong explanation.”
A Syrian spokesman criticized Annan, stating, “He has not delivered until now written guarantees regarding the approval of terrorist armed groups to end violence and readiness to lay down its weapons.”
Two weeks ago, Bashar Assad’s regime accepted a peace deal offered by the UN, but the violence continued unabated. The ineffectual leader of the ineffectual organization, the UN’s Ban Ki Moon, issued a statement: “The 10 April timeline to fulfill the Government's implementation of its (ceasefire and troop withdrawal) commitments, as endorsed by the Security Council, is not an excuse for continued killing.”
Ban Ki Moon’s protest notwithstanding, both sides continued the killing. Despite pressure from Russia, which told the Assad government to comply with Annan, Assad’s regime ignored the advice. They continued to bomb the cities of Homs and Hama, and burned houses near Aleppo.
Meanwhile, thousands of Syrians have fled to Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan,
250,000 more have been displaced inside the country.