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Both Sides Ignore Cease-fire in Syria
May 14, 2012

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Despite the promise of a cease-fire and the presence of international observers, the violence in Syria continues.

On Sunday, Government troops fired on, then stormed opposition areas across the country, including in Daraa and Douma, in the south; Hama, in the west; and Homs, the central city that is home to many opposition elements and has been the target of multiple military operations in the past year. Reports of violence came from neighboring Lebanon as well.

A car bomb last week in Damascus, the capital, killed dozens of people and injured hundreds. Both sides blamed each other. Another explosion rocked the northern city of Aleppo, near the ruling party headquarters; no one was killed in that blast.

The cease-fire, which was brokered by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and was supposed to have been in effect since April 12, has not been recognized by either side. A human rights group has estimated that hundreds of people have died in the past month, despite the presence of United Nations observers.

More than 150 civilian and military monitors have already been deployed in four cities, including Hama and Homs. A few hundred more observers are expected soon.

European foreign ministers meeting in Brussels are expected to approve a 15th round of sanctions against the government and military of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Expected among the sanctions are a freeze on assets and a ban on travel for a select few.

More than 12,000 people have died in the yearlong uprising, human rights groups say.



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