UN Special Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan condemned as “unacceptable” a recent spate of violence between the Syrian regime and the rebel fighters, which is creating a growing refugee crisis just days before a planned ceasefire is supposed to begin.
Annan warned of a “alarming levels of casualties, refugees and displaced persons,” saying that there was a “surge in violence and atrocities” across the nation. It doesn’t actually seem that the overall rate of violence is as high as it was during the peak of fighting, but the fighting hasn’t calmed down as much as many had hoped, either.
Annan’s statement centered on urging the Assad government to implement the ceasefire, but it is the rebels that are declaring the ceasefire “doomed,” saying that they won’t provide any written guarantee that they will stop fighting at 6 AM April 12, when the ceasefire is supposed to be implemented.
Both sides seem to have been scrambling to make last minute gains before the fighting ends, but have been doing so with such seriousness that there are now serious doubts that the ceasefire will ever actually happen. Western officials are sure to spin this as solely a failure on the regime’s part, but many of the rebel factions don’t seem to have much stomach for a negotiated settlement either.