UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the Syrian authorities for new military attacks on opposition forces, which reportedly killed dozens of people in the past two days.
“The Secretary-General strongly condemns the latest escalation of violence,” Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.
“He deplores the assault by the Syrian authorities against innocent civilians, including women and children, despite the commitments by the Government of Syria to cease all use of heavy weapons in population centers,” the statement said.
The UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan told the UN Security Council on Monday that the Syrian authorities had accepted his six-point peace plan to end the violence that has claimed more than 9,000 lives in the country, according to UN estimates.
The plan includes a deadline to stop military offensives and begin a government troop pullout from cities and towns by April 10.
However, Syrian opposition, Western diplomats and officials, as well as some Russian analysts, have been skeptical about President Bashar al-Assad’s intentions, saying he was playing for time and could fail to comply with Annan’s plan.
“The April 10 timeline to fulfill the [Syrian] Government’s implementation of its commitments, as endorsed by the Security Council, is not an excuse for continued killing,” the Ban’s spokesperson’s statement said.
“The Syrian authorities remain fully accountable for grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. These must stop at once,” it said.
Members of the UN Security Council unanimously warned Damascus on Thursday that they would consider "further steps" against Assad’s regime if it failed to honor its commitments.