Even as the deadline for the ceasefire approaches, at least 27 Syrian soldiers, rebels and civilians were killed in violence, opposition activists said. The violence is intensifying in the region as 12 April, the date for the troops to pullback approaches.
Damascus has assured UN Envoy Kofi Annan of its commitment to the deadline, but few of its tanks and forces are reported withdrawn.
"Talks were held and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) said if the regime commits to the plan and withdraws from the cities and returns to its original barracks then we are committed to the plan," Colonel Riad al-Assad told, reported Reuters. He declined to divulge more details.
The sudden spurt in violence is attributed to opposition forces that the government alleges are being armed and supported by some regional states. And the last few days could as well spell disaster for the civilians as government forces supporting President Bashar Al Assad and the opposition FSA battle it out.
Also, satellite images released by the United States on Friday show Assad forces as not withdrawing. Robert Ford, the US ambassador to Syria, posted the commercial satellite images on Facebook in what seemed an effort to pressure the Syrian president.
Earlier, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the Syrian government for the continuous attack on civilians and demanded a pledge to stop all the military operations.
"The 10 April timeline to fulfil the government's implementation of its (ceasefire and troop withdrawal) commitments, as endorsed by the Security Council, is not an excuse for continued killing," said a statement from the UN chief's press office.
"Syrian authorities remain fully accountable for grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. These must be stop at once," Ban's statement said.
In response to that Syria said in a letter to the UN released on Friday:"In recent days terrorist acts committed by armed groups in Syria have escalated, especially since an understanding was reached on Kofi Annan's plan. The International community and the Security Council must take necessary measures to prevent and stop the funding of any terrorist activities against Syria." Government loyalist forces have killed more than 9,000 people during the unrest, according to a UN tally, whereas Syria says 6,044 have died including 2,566 soldiers and police.