FoxNews: Obama pledges continued pressure on Assad as regime pounds rebel-held areas in central Syria
WASHINGTON – President Bashar Assad’s forces pounded rebel-held areas in central Syria on Friday, killing at least 22 people, activists said. More than 60 nations meeting in Tunisia asked the United Nations to start planning for a civilian peacekeeping mission that would deploy after the Syrian regime halts its crackdown.
As government troops relentlessly shelled rebel-held neighborhoods in the besieged city of Homs, thousands of people in dozens of towns staged anti-regime protests under the slogan: “We will revolt for your sake, Baba Amr,” referring to the Homs neighborhood that has become the center of the Syrian revolt. Activists said at least 50 people were killed nationwide.
In Tunisia, the U.S., European and Arab nations asked the U.N. to start drafting plans for a civilian peacekeeping mission that would deploy after the Damascus regime halts the brutal crackdown.
Still unwilling to commit to military intervention to end the bloodshed, the group offered nothing other than the threat of increasing isolation and sanctions to compel compliance from Assad, who has ignored similar demands.
In Washington, President Barack Obama said the U.S. and its allies would consider “every tool available” to stop the slaughter of innocent people in Syria. He did not give specifics about what that might entail.
“It is time for that regime to move on. And it is time to stop the killing of Syrian citizens by their own government,” he said.
On Thursday, former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan was appointed the joint United Nations-Arab League envoy on the Syrian crisis.
Annan said in a statement Friday that he would try to “help bring an end to the violence and human rights abuses, and promote a peaceful solution” in Syria. He expressed hope that the Syrian government and opposition groups will cooperate with him in his efforts……Read More
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