Spurt of Violence in Syria Leaves Ceasefire in Doubt

Troops Shell Hama as Rebels Assassinate Top Military Leaders

Nearly two weeks into the ceasefire, Syria is once again seeing an upswing in violence, with reports that the Syrian military killed some 28 civilians after UN observers toured Hama, and rebels launched fresh attacks near the capital of Damascus.

Rebels reportedly assassinated three top members of the Assad regime’s security forces, including a police commander and a top intelligence official. The deaths were part of a series of targeted assassinations by some rebel faction, but exactly which was not clear.

Meanwhile the Hama violence was condemned as unacceptable by UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan, but the exact toll was unclear. Though 28 seems to be the official figure, rebels claimed over 70 deaths in the shelling.

Exactly where this leaves the ceasefire is uncertain, but there is a scramble to get additional monitors into the country. Currently only eight monitors are in Syria, but the regime has approved of a UN mission of up to 300.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.