Syria: Cease Ceasefire
ANY pretence of holding to the ceasefire brokered by Kofi Annan, envoy of the UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, has gone. Violence spiked across the country on June 11th when the regime’s forces shelled Homs, towns in Idleb, Deir Ezzor, and al-Haffeh in Latakia province, in some cases following up with helicopters. At least 90 people were killed; many more remain trapped, fearful of further assaults or massacres. Doctors in some neighborhoods of Homs said they had run out of medical staff and equipment.
The bands of armed, mainly civilian opponents known as the Free Syrian Army also upped its attacks on the regime’s forces around the country. Use of guerilla tactics, such as roadside bombs and ambushes, has increased. In some areas of the country government forces are pinned down, only leaving their bases for patrols in armoured vehicles. One human rights group estimates that 1,000 soldiers have died since the ceasefire came into theoretical effect on April 12th.
Children are not being spared in this conflict. A UN team returning from the country said children had been used as human shields by the Syrian army…