Scores dead as Russia agrees to Assad powers handover

Published March 11th, 2012 - 07:43 GMT
Idleb
Idleb

The Syrian army continues its offensive against the insurgents. Residents of the city of Idleb reported Sunday on massive bombings. In total , 62 people were killed Saturday across the country.

According to locals, Idleb has undergone since Sunday dawn the "most violent bombardments so far," said Rami Abdel Rahman, President of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "The regime's forces bombed the outskirts of the city, from multiple axes," explained Fadl Milad, a local activist. "Three buildings have already collapsed in the west of the city," he explained. The Province of Idleb uis considered as bastion of the Free Syrian Army. For days, government troops were massing in this mountainous province close to the border with Turkey, raising fears of an offensive similar to that which brought down Baba Amr, the rebellious district of Homs.

According to activists, the largest number of Free Syrian Army rebels is concentrated in the province of Idleb, particularly in the district of Jabal al-Zawiya.

Meanwhile, an Arab diplomatic source said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed to adopt the Arab initiative, which provides for the transfer of the powers of President Bashar al-Assad to his deputy. The Russian diplomat said the acceptance will be within the terms of reference of the task of Kofi Annan, according to al Hayat newspaper. The diplomatic source said this Russian acceptance of the Arab proposal is a significant progress in the Russian position, noting that Moscow had refused categorically this item which will lead to the departure of Assad.

Following his speech in front of the Arab League Council, the Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs declared an agreement with Russia to resolve the crisis in Syria. The two sides agreed to stop the violence from any source as a top priority in this situation, and the formation of a neutral monitoring mechanism to follow up the situation in Syria.

The agreement excludes the idea of foreign intervention in Syria and allows access for humanitarian aid to the needy. 


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