Annan Proposal Receives Russian Support
On Tuesday, Russia announced its position supporting Kofi Annan’s proposal, announcing that the documents should be revealed and that Moscow stands ready to head back to the U.N. Security Council. Additionally, France circulated an additional draft statement for the Security Council “deploring the turmoil and backing peace efforts by U.N.-Arab League Envoy Annan.”
“The Security Council should support them not as an ultimatum, but as a basis for the continuing efforts by Kofi Annan aimed at reaching accord between all the Syrians, the government and all opposition groups on all key issues, such as humanitarian corridors, halting hostilities by all parties, the beginning of a political dialogue and offering access to the media,” Lavrov said at a news conference. A change in the Russian position alludes to the fact that Moscow’s support for Assad may be waning. “We are supporting the need to start a political process, and to do that it’s necessary to have a cease-fire first,” Lavrov said. “Russia will do everything for that, irrespective of the decisions made by the Syrian government. We disagree with many of those, by the way.”
Meanwhile the relative calm of Damascus was interrupted Monday night by a three-hour gun battle between opposition and government forces. Syrian state media reported that government forces had stormed a “den of armed terrorist groups” in the Damascus suburb of Mezzeh. Spokesman for the FSA reported that the attack was a part of an FSA operation on the Political Security Directorate and that 87 government soldiers were killed in the assault.