April 10 - United Nations-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan visits a refugee camp in Turkey amid a deadline to stop a government crackdown in Syria edges closer. Katharine Jackson reports.
Syrian girls dance and sing for U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan during his visit to a refugee camp in Turkey. Fleeing a 13-month crackdown on rebel forces by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, nearly 25,000 Syrians have come to Turkey. Annan's visit on Tuesday comes as a midnight deadline looms for Assad to pull troops back to comply with an international peace plan. A ceasefire would go into effect on Thursday. At a news conference, Annan says the plan he brokered could still work. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N.-ARAB LEAGUE ENVOY KOFI ANNAN, SAYING: "I believe it is a bit too early to say that the plan has failed. The plan is still on the table and it is a plan we are all fighting to implement. It is a plan that the council has endorsed and it is a plan that Syrians have endorsed and from the comments made by the opposition, they are also prepared to go along with it if the governments meets its commitments to pull the troops out." Activists say Assad's troops killed 31 civilians on Tueday. Six Syrian soldiers were also killed, they say. One refugee hopes Annan stays focused on saving lives. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED SYRIAN REFUGEE SAYING: "We were hoping that today was the day that Kofi Annan's ultimatum would be enforced. We don't need Kofi Annan to come and see us here, we are not worried with food and drink. Kofi Annan needs to go to Homs, Idlib and Deraa to see the massacres. I cam here from Idlib two days ago, real massacres happened in Idlib." Annan says the Syrian military appears to be withdrawing from some areas but shifting to target others. He appeals to all sides to stop the violence. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.