Annan goes to China amid Syria violence
A Syrian boy stands next to cars damaged in Homs shelling. AP photoSyrian troops shelled rebel-held neighborhoods in Homs yesterday, the latest barrage in a bombardment that has lasted several days as Kofi Annan, the U.N.-Arab League envoy on Syria, is due in Beijing today to brief leaders about his proposal to end violence in the country.
In Damascus, the state-run news agency, SANA, said Syrian troops foiled an attempt by an “armed terrorist group” to infiltrate the country from Turkey. The troops killed and wounded some of them and seized their weapons, SANA said. It said Turkish medical teams transferred the killed and the wounded into Turkey.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) have been reporting shelling in Homs for days as al-Assad’s forces appear to be preparing for an operation to retake rebel-held neighborhoods in Syria’s third largest city. Activists said 38 people were killed in Syria yesterday, 24 of them in Homs.
Annan said yesterday that the crisis in Syria “cannot drag on indefinitely” but that he could not set a deadline for a resolution after a year of bloodshed. “It is not practical to put forth timetables and timelines when you haven’t got agreement from the parties,” Annan told journalists in Moscow, where he met March 25 with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. “This cannot be allowed to drag on indefinitely and as I have told the parties on the ground, they cannot resist the transformational winds that are blowing.”