Syrian troops are supposed to withdraw from urban areas by Tuesday, but Bashar al-Assad's government have added some eleventh hour demands that are casting serious doubts on the success of the ceasefire. Assad is now demanding written guarantees that rebels will stop fighting before they will pull back their troops, CNN reports. Assad's government is now also demanding that the governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey stop funding the rebels, according to the New York Times.
A ceasefire plan between the government and rebel forces was brokered by Kofi Annan, which called for government troops to pull out by the April 10 deadline, followed by an immediate withdrawal of rebel troops. Initial reports earlier this week suggested Assad's troops were pulling back, but after the new demands from Assad's government hopes for the ceasefire plan are beginning to fade. CNN is also reporting that violence has continued since the plan was brokered, with violence in the village of Bashira, the eastern town of Rastan, and in Hama leaving a reported 150 dead over the last two days.
Reuters spoke with a leader of the rebel Free Syrian Army who told them he didn't expect the plan to succeed, "The regime will not implement this plan. This plan will fail." He also said that rebels would stick to their promise to stop fighting on Tuesday, should the Syrian government pull back their troops. "We have given our word that if the regime commits to the plan then we will too. We are honest," he said.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.