KILIS, Turkey — The bloody conflict in Syria spilled across two tense borders Monday when gunfire from government forces killed a cameraman in Lebanon and wounded at least six people in a refugee camp in Turkey, authorities said.
The cease-fire was supposed to go into effect Tuesday.
“These incidents are just another indication that the Assad regime does not seem at all willing to meet the commitments that it made to Kofi Annan,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters in Washington. “Not only has the violence not abated, it has been worse in recent days,” she said.
The violence bolstered fears that the uprising could spark a broader regional conflagration by sucking in neighboring countries.
Under the Annan plan, Syrian troops were meant to pull out of population centers by Tuesday morning, but President Bashar Assad’s government Sunday introduced a new, last-minute demand - saying forces cannot withdraw without written guarantees from opposition fighters that they will lay down their arms.
Syria’s main rebel group, the Free Syrian Army, rejected the government’s demand for a written guarantee, but says it will abide by its promise under Mr. Annan’s plan to stop fighting - as long as the regime does too.
“We as protectors of the Syrian people announce a cease-fire against the regime’s army starting on the morning of April 10 and we will stick to this promise if the regime abides by the clauses of the initiative,” a member of the Free Syrian Army’s military council said in a YouTube video.
The Syrian opposition and Western leaders had been skeptical all along that Mr. Assad would live up to his commitment to a truce because he broke similar promises in the past and escalated attacks on opposition strongholds in the days leading up to the cease-fire deadline.
In the latest violence, Ali Shaaban, a cameraman for the Al Jadeed television station, was filming in Lebanon’s northern Wadi Khaled area when a bullet pierced his chest, Lebanese security officials said.
The gunfire came from the nearby Syrian village of Armouta, the officials said.
Mr. Shaaban, who was born in 1980, died on the way to the hospital, the officials said on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Al Jadeed said that Syrian security officials dressed in civilian clothes fired more than 40 bullets at their staff, who were on Lebanese soil. Al Jadeed said on its Arabic Twitter account that the Lebanese military retrieved Shaaban’s body from near the border.
Earlier in the day, Syrian forces fired across the border into a refugee camp in Turkey, wounding at least five people, authorities said.
The soldiers apparently were firing at rebels who tried to escape to the refugee camp after ambushing a military checkpoint, according to the Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which cited a network of sources on the ground.View Entire Story
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