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Syrian crisis deepens; fears of civil war

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 09:48

Zeenews Bureau

Beirut: At least 10 people were killed by security forces in clashes across Syria on Tuesday, activists said as per a news agency. The violence came as UN mediator Kofi Annan, the Red Cross and the Arab League warned that the 14-month-old revolt against the regime was fast deteriorating and turning into a civil war.

Rebels have been fighting with government forces in a bid to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, clashes raged overnight in Syrian towns and flared again during the day.

The agency reports that despite an initial pause in fighting on April 12, a promised ceasefire has not worked. The carnage in Syria too hasn’t ended, despite a Parliamentary poll on Monday which the government said was a milestone on its path to reform. The opposition has rejected the poll as a sham and boycotted.

Annan yesterday said there were "worrying episodes of violence by the government" in Syria as well as attacks by the opposition in violation of the truce. Speaking to reporters in Geneva after briefing the UN Security Council via video link, he described a recent spate of bombings as "really worrying".

Annan further called on Damascus and the rebels to revive the ceasefire, the agency reported.

"If you can do it for one day, why don`t you do it for a week, a month, why don`t you give peace a chance and give the people of Syria a break?" Annan said. "Why do they have to put up with this trauma?"

"There is a profound concern that the country could ... descend into full civil war and the implications of that are quite frightening," he said. "We cannot allow that to happen."

US envoy to the UN Susan Rice said after the council meeting that "the Syrian government has not implemented fully any of the six points of the Annan plan".

"The situation in Syria remains dire, especially for the millions who continue to endure daily attacks and who are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance," Rice said.

"We are increasing our support to unify and strengthen the opposition through non-lethal assistance."

First Published: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 09:48

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