(AsiaNews) - Violence continues in Syria after bombs killed 55 people and
injured hundreds more in Damascus on 10 May. Today, the Syrian army shelled the
rebel stronghold of al-Rastan (Homs Governorate), about 80 km north of Damascus.
to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the army is getting
ready for a final assault against the city, which has been the scene of months
of fighting between regular soldiers and members of the Free Syrian Army, which
has one of its headquarters in the city.
situation in Syria is of grave concern. The international community must
strongly back Kofi Annan's plan," Mgr Mario Zenari told AsiaNews.
the prelate, who has been apostolic nuncio in Damascus since 2009, the army and
the rebels stopped using heavy weapons when UN observers were first deployed.
though violence continues, we must give the UN-Arab League plan its due by
backing every small success," Mgr Zenari said.
is especially important now because the war has reached a dangerous point, full
of hatred and desire for vengeance, even among civilians. The climate is so
tense that "each death calls for more".
on 12 April, the peace plan elaborate by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan calls
for an end to violence, the gradual implementation of a ceasefire, humanitarian
aid, the release of people jailed without trial, free movement of journalists
and the beginning of political dialogue between the government and the
far, pressures from the United Nations Security Council on rebels and regime
have failed to stop the fighting, which continues to claim lives.
observers sent to Syria to monitor the plan's implementation have themselves
come under fire. On Wednesday, a UN convoy came under attack in Khan Shaykhun, Idlib
Governorate, but no one was killed or wounded. At the time, army forces
attacked a funeral procession killing more than 20 people.
the nuncio, the cycle of violence must be broken. "Despite the attacks, the UN
must continue its work in Syria even though the two sides do not fully respect the
ceasefire or the peace plan they both signed," the prelate said.
cracks in the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) have started to appear. The
group, which is supported and financed by Syrian exiles, lost its president
today. Burhan Ghalioun resigned following a split between the SNC and local
coordination committees. The latter claim that the external body has lost the
support of the Syrian people in the fight against the Assad regime.
conflict followed Ghalioun's recent re-election as SNC president over rival
George Sabra by only ten votes. For local committees, Sabra, a Christian, is
the only leader who can free the SNC from the pressures of the Muslim