Syrian Rebels to Assad: You Have 'Til Tomorrow

Peace plan is off unless regime implements ceasefire, rebel group says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2012 12:51 AM CDT
Updated May 31, 2012 7:40 AM CDT
Syrian Rebels Issue 48-Hour Ultimatum
A member of the Free Syrian Army waits at one of their bases in the town of Sarmada in northwestern Syria.   (Getty Images)

The Free Syrian Army has warned the Syrian government it will renew its fight to overthrow Bashar al-Assad's regime unless it complies with the United Nations peace plan by lunchtime tomorrow. The rebel group, which controls parts of some towns and cities as well as large areas of countryside, urged the government to "implement an immediate ceasefire, withdraw its troops, tanks and artillery from Syrian cities and villages," and allow humanitarian aid to reach civilians, the BBC reports.

If the government fails to act, "we are free from any commitment and we will defend and protect the civilians, their villages and their cities," the rebel group's leader said. Both sides have violated the ceasefire over the last two months, but UN observers say the Syrian regime is the worst offender by far, Reuters notes. As civil war looms, Russia has warned that it is "categorically against" foreign military intervention and said it would be "premature" for the UN to take any further steps to stem the violence. (More Free Syrian Army stories.)

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