Syria accepts Annan peace plan (VIDEO)


Syrians protest against President Bashar al-Assad's regime following Friday prayers in Binnish, Idlib province, near the Turkish border. Syrian forces bombed towns and clashed with rebels in several regions as activists said thousands staged anti-regime protests.



BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Syrian government reportedly accepted the six-point peace plan proposed by joint United Nations-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, according to the Associated Press

The plan, which can be read in full on the United Nations website, calls for a "Syrian-led political process to address the legitmate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people," a commitment "to stop the fighting," ensuring "timely provision of humanitarian assistance," intensification of "the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons," ensuring the "freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists," and respecting "freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully." 

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The Associated Press wrote that a Syrian opposition member welcomed the reported acceptance of the Annan peace plan. Syrian opposition leaders are currently meeting in Istanbul to build a more united coalition in advance of an April 1 "Friends of Syria" meeting there. Various anti-Assad groups have been plagued by infighting and resignations. 

Also on the diplomatic front, the Arab League summit currently underway in Baghdad is expected to focus largely on the Syrian uprising. 

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The New York Times wrote that new "clashes coincided with a quickened diplomatic pace," as reports emerged this morning of clashes near the Lebanese border village of al-Qaa. Reuters quoted eyewitnesses who reported that roughly three dozen Syrian troops crossed the border, while Lebanese military officials denied the claim. 

In an email from 3:37 p.m., an activist organization called the Local Coordination Committees reported shelling in Hama and attacks on protesters in Damascus and its suburbs. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is today touring the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs. 

Below is a video reportedly showing the Syrian president today.