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Syria: Rebels abandon UN-backed truce, renew attacks

Rebel forces in Syria said Monday they were no longer bound by the Kofi Annan-brokered peace plan after President Bashar al-Assad missed the Friday deadline to implement a ceasefire.

Syria kofi annan warns of all out war june 2 2012Enlarge
Kofi Annan, UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, attends an Arab ministerial committee meeting in Doha to discuss the Syrian crisis on June 2, 2012. Qatar urged Annan to set a timeframe for his Syria peace mission, and asked the UN Security Council to apply Chapter VII which permits military intervention. (KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Syria's rebel forces have cast aside the UN-backed peace plan to halt violence in the region, saying that President Bashar al-Assad missed his Friday deadline to impose a ceasefire, Reuters reported

"We have decided to end our commitment to this (ceasefire)," Free Syrian Army spokesman Major Sami al-Kurdi said Monday. "We have resumed our attacks but we are doing defensive attacks which means we are only attacking checkpoints in the cities."

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told ABC News that the rebels have killed between 80 and 150 soldiers since Friday, in a series of offensives across Syria following the May 25 massacre of at least 108 people in Houla believed to have been perpetrated by pro-government forces.

More from GlobalPost: Houla massacre victims 'summarily executed,' says UN

“The Annan mission is essentially dead, and of course most Western powers admit that," said Michael Stephens, researcher at the Royal United Services Institute’s branch in Qatar, according to the Inquisitr. "Houla changed the game completely in terms of what people were willing to accept and what they were not.”

UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon continued to push for the ceasefire as a central solution to the ongoing crisis in the region, according to ABC News. 

"Annan's plan remains central to the resolution of the Syrian crisis," Ban Ki Moon said. "We are deeply troubled by what has been going on. In the name of humanity, I urge the Syrian authorities to stop violence immediately."

More from GlobalPost: Syria: Kofi Annan warns of 'all-out war'

Annan will meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week to discuss the next moves for brokering peace in Syria, the Hill reported. 300 UN observers have been sent to region as part of international truce efforts, but they have not managed to stop the violence that has many worried about a civil war. 

“Many people... have questioned whether the six-point plan has failed — whether it is the end, whether it is dead,” Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said, the Hill reported. “They've written the obituary already. But we will continue to pursue the plan because it is the only option on the table at the moment.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/120604/syria-rebels-abandon-annan-peace-plan