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Page last updated at 07:42 GMT, Monday, 9 April 2012 08:42 UK

Syria ceasefire would be 'political suicide' for Assad

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There is growing concern that a planned ceasefire in Syria, which is supposed to come into force tomorrow, will not go ahead after the opposition rejected a demand from the Syrian government to provide a written guarantee that it will stop fighting and disarm.

The rebels' commander says they will abide by the truce, but will only present guarantees and commitments to the international community, not to the Syrian.

Abdul Omar, a spokesman for the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told the Today programme's Sarah Montague that the opposition that said any agreement to a peace plan would be met with scepticism because the Assad regime has "made promises only to reject them" for the second or third time.

"It is no surprise that Assad regime proves that it is only trying to buy itself some time," he said, adding that it is not giving up the only tool it has "which is violence and force".

Mr Omar said the regime sees this ceasefire "as a suicide plan" because withdrawing the military from the streets and allowing independent observers into the country would result in a mass reaction from Syrian public which would be "political suicide" so they would not go as far as that.

"What we need to see right now is the international community taking serious measures," he said, in the form of humanitarian aid which must reach those who need it establishing a buffer zone on the border with Turkey.


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