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Israel Skeptical About Syria Truce Prospects

Israeli officials are very skeptical the Syrian government and opposition will stick to the cease-fire that UN envoy Kofi Annan hopes will take hold on Tuesday.

Annan, a former UN general secretary, has been traveling to Syria for several weeks in an attempt to broker a truce between President Bashar Assad and opposition forces, after many months of unrest.

Human rights reports show that more than 100 civilians have been executed so far this year, and the opposition says more than 150 civilians – including 17 children – were killed on Monday alone.

Annan’s mission might even have made things worse. By not insisting on Assad’s departure, it encouraged his regime to step up its clampdown and set preconditions for accepting a cease-fire.

Damascus says it will withdraw from city centers only if the opposition forces commit in writing to hold their fire, a prerequisite that the opposition has dismissed out of hand.

According to the NGO Human Rights Watch, witnesses say Assad’s soldiers have carried out executions in broad daylight in an attempt to teach others a lesson. Annan, a former UN general secretary, has been traveling to Syria for several weeks in an attempt to broker a truce between President Bashar Assad and opposition forces, after many months of unrest.

Human rights reports show that more than 100 civilians have been executed so far this year, and the opposition says more than 150 civilians – including 17 children – were killed on Monday alone.

Annan’s mission might even have made things worse. By not insisting on Assad’s departure, it encouraged his regime to step up its clampdown and set preconditions for accepting a cease-fire.

Damascus says it will withdraw from city centers only if the opposition forces commit in writing to hold their fire, a prerequisite that the opposition has dismissed out of hand.

According to the NGO Human Rights Watch, witnesses say Assad’s soldiers have carried out executions in broad daylight in an attempt to teach others a lesson.

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