A ceasefire brokered by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has not stopped Syrian President Bashar Assad from continuing to murder rebels, although at a lesser rate than the more than 100 a day that were killed in the past week.
Rebels have refused his new ceasefire condition to lay down their arms and instead continue to fight back. The video, taken earlier this week, shows opposition forces capturing and killing four of Assad’s security forces and burning their car in Aleppo.
Annan insisted that the ceasefire was not a failure – yet – and that it still is “very much alive,” which is more than can said for well over 10,000 victims of the vicious suppression of the year-old rebellion that began with peaceful rallies for political reforms.
The Obama administration initially backed Assad, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even calling Assad a “reformer” despite evidence of brutal killings. On Tuesday, she blamed Russia for allowing the situation in Syria to deteriorate towards civil war.
"We will have another go at trying to persuade the Russians that the situation is deteriorating and the likelihood of regional conflict and civil war is increasing," she said at the U.S. Naval Academy
Russia has a huge investment in Syria’s military infrastructure and has been the major power backing the Assad regime. Both Moscow and China have blocked efforts by the Western nations in the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution condemning Syria’s terror against the opposition.
As day one of the supposed ceasefire passed, residents of the rebel stronghold of Homs reported that Syrian troops continued shelling their homes and a makeshift hospital.
"Obviously, members of the council are unified in their grave concern that this deadline has passed and the violence has not only continued but over the last 10 days has intensified," said Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe declared, "Not only has the use of heavy weapons not ended ...but what was presented as a withdrawal is in fact only a thinly disguised redeployment.”
The Obama administration is in no mood for giving military aid to the rebels, while Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain continues to call for air strikes on Assad’s forces and belittled China and Russia “for blocking the efforts that could be made by the U.N. to stop the slaughter.”
McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman visited Syrian refugees in Turkey, where Assad’s soldiers violated the international border and shot at refugees Monday.