Syrian gunfire wounds five in Turkish refugee camp
Gunfire in Syria hits a refugee camp over the Turkish border on Monday, wounding five people with unconfirmed reports of possibly two deaths.
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Syrian troops were meant to pull out of population centers by Tuesday morning, but the government on Sunday introduced a new demand — saying it cannot withdraw without written guarantees from opposition fighters that they will lay down their arms. Syria's main rebel group rejected the government's demands.Skip to next paragraph
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Naci Koru, Turkey's deputy foreign minister, said the deadline for the withdrawal has become "void at this stage," state-run TRT television reported.
Annan is scheduled to visit to one of the refugee camps in Hatay province, bordering Syria, on Tuesday afternoon, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said. Annan's office confirmed the trip to Turkey.
"Annan's one-hour visit to Hatay tomorrow is critical, he will see the situation himself," the TRT quoted Koru as saying on Monday.
Annan has been on a serious diplomatic push to rally support for his cease-fire deal. The international community, which so far is unwilling to contemplate military intervention, has had little leverage over Syria.
On Monday, Russia was hosting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem.
It is not clear whether Moscow will try to pressure Syria to comply with the cease-fire plan, though Russia said Monday it may send its observers to Syria as part of a potential U.N. monitoring mission.
Also Monday, Human Rights Watch said it has documented the killings by Syrian forces of 85 civilians, including women and children, and the summary executions of at least 16 wounded or captured opposition fighters.
"In a desperate attempt to crush the uprising, Syrian forces have executed people in cold blood, civilians and opposition fighters alike," said Ole Solvang, a researcher for the group. "They are doing it in broad daylight and in front of witnesses, evidently not concerned about any accountability for their crimes."
The New York-based group said it only included cases corroborated by witnesses, but has received many more reports of similar incidents.
The group said it documented several cases of mass executions in March in the cities of Homs and Idlib, two centers of the uprising. This includes the killing of 13 people in an Idlib mosque, the executions of 25 men in a raid of the Sultaniya neighborhood of Homs, and the killing of 47 people, mainly women and children, in three other areas of Homs, the group said.
Two witnesses describing the March 11 killings in Idlib said the city's Bilal mosque had been used as an initial collection point for those killed and wounded in an army raid. When relatives came to identify the dead, several were led by soldiers out of the mosque, blindfolded and lined up against a wall. More than a dozen soldiers opened fire, killing at least 13 people, the witnesses said.
The Syrian government typically does not comment on such reports.
The allegations came as opposition activists reported that Syrian forces pressed ahead with raids and shelling attacks on the towns of Tel Rifaat in the northwest and Muhassan in the east of the country Monday.