Ceasefire in Syria Shows Major Cracks
(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Anti-government activists in Syria suggested on Tuesday that the ceasefire pact supposedly agreed to by President Bashar al-Assad is not worth the paper it's written on.
Despite optimism from the few United Nations monitors trying to confirm that the deal is holding together, activists charge that the military shelling in the flashpoint city of Homs has not let up while nearly 50 people were killed Tuesday as soldiers intensified their offensive in the northwest province of Idlib.
In one particularly gruesome incident, the Local Coordination Committees, an anti-government group, alleged that a tank ran over the head of a media activist in Idlib while other dissidents were lined up and executed by troops.
The allegations of bloodshed seemed to contradict U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's declaration Tuesday that the violence has been "sporadic" since the ceasefire went into effect nearly a week ago.
However, he admitted that it would probably take more than the planned 250 international monitors to go on an observer mission "considering the current situation and considering the vastness of the country."
One Syrian human rights group says that more than 11,000 people have died in the 13-month-long government crackdown to defeat al-Assad's political enemies.
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