Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has condemned the Syrian government for fresh assaults days ahead of a ceasefire deadline of April 10.
Last week, Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, accepted a ceasefire agreement brokered by Kofi Annan calling for government forces to withdraw from towns and villages by Tuesday, April 10, and for the government and opposition fighters to lay down their arms by Thursday.
But with less than three days to go doubts are growing over whether that plan will work.
Activists say that at least 360 people have been killed since April 1, when the Syrian government announced it would accept the ceasefire plan. Turkey has also said that the rate of Syrian refugees had doubled since Assad agreed to implement it.
Can the peace plan succeed this time, and what if it fails?
To answer these questions Inside Story, with presenter Hazem Sika, is joined by our guests: Fawaz Gerges, the director of the Middle East Centre and International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Professor of International Relations; Michael Weis, the communications director for the Henry Jackson Society which is a foreign policy think-tank based in London; and Haitham al-Sibahie, a member of the Syrian Social Club based in London who supports regime change through peaceful means.
"The 10th April timeline to fulfill the government's implementation of its commitments, as endorsed by the Security Council, is not an excuse for continued killing."
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general
THE PEACE PLAN:
- The proposal includes cessation of fighting and withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from populated areas
- Syria's government should work with Annan to end all violence under UN supervision
- Annan will seek similar commitments from the opposition to stop all fighting
- Ensuring the provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting
- The release of prisoners and providing a list of all places where, arbitrarily detained people, are being held
- To ensure freedom of movement throughout the country
- The plan demands to respect freedom of gathering and the right to demonstrate peacefully
- By 0300GMT on April 12 all forms of violence must be stopped on all sides
- The next step will be talks on a political solution