The Syrian government is ‘in contravention; of an internationally agreed peace plan, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned. Ban “remains deeply troubled” by the continued presence of heavy weapons and troops in Syria’s cities as reported by UN monitors, his spokesman said. Ban also demanded that Damascus comply with the peace plan without delay.
The Secretary General’s comments come as up to 70 people were killed in an attack on a house in Hama, according to Syrian activists. They said several houses in the Masha at-Tayyar district in southern Hama were destroyed by a big explosion. Syrian State media reported that 16 people died in the blast in a house used as a bomb factory by “armed terrorist groups”.
The violence comes despite a UN-brokered ceasefire – part of the six-point peace plan proposed by the joint UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. The plan calls on Damascus to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from cities.
In a separate development, the Arab League said it would urge the UN Security Council to act ‘immediately’ to protect Syrian civilians. France is also pushing for a more forceful position against Syria. UN diplomats, however, admitted there is little chance to convince Russia and China to support such a stance.
According to the approximately 9,000 people have died since pro-democracy protests began in March 2011.