Syrian rebels refuse to give regime guarantees

By: Albert Aji

BEIRUT, Lebanon – The commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army has refused a regime demand for a ‘written guarantee’ to end fighting.

In this Friday, April 6, 2012 photo, Free Syrian Army fighters stand guard during fighting with Syrian troops in a suburb of Damascus, Syria. Syrian government shelling and offensives against rebel-held towns killed dozens of people across the country on Saturday, activists said, as the U.S. posted online satellite images of troop deployments that cast further doubt on whether the regime intends to comply with an internationally sponsored peace plan. (AP Photo)

Col. Riad al-Asaad’s comments come hours after Syria demanded “written guarantees” that its opponents will lay down their weapons before the government withdraws its troops from cities, derailing a U.N.-brokered truce that was supposed to start in two days.

Al-Asaad said Sunday that his group does not recognize President Bashar Assad’s regime and for that reason they will not give guarantees.

Al-Asaad told The Associated Press by telephone from Turkey that if the regime abides by U.N. and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point plan to end the violence, his group will cease fire.

He said the government should withdraw its forces to bases and remove checkpoints from streets.

Source: AP

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