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Koffi Annan steps down from Syria peace plan

UN Chief Ban Ki-moon has announced with deep regrets that the international envoy, Kofi Annan is stepping down. This raises concerns as the peace plan for Syria, started in April comes down amidst raging violence.

Ban’s announcement follows a rebel forces attack on Menagh air base, 30 Kilometers northwest of Aleppo, the battle for Syria’s commercial capital intensified.

Reports from an AFP reporter who witnessed the bombardment revealed that rebels commented about the attack as: ‘an attack to take this airport being used by helicopters and planes that are firing on Aleppo’.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the rebels had captured a tank from the army and used in the morning shelling.

The esteemed work of Koffi Annan began from April 2012 after being appointed on February 23 as the envioy for the Arab and UN League. The six-peace plan was expected to end the conflict in Syria, but so far the goal has not been achieved.

The northern city of Aleppo was attacked by rebels. At the same time, a security force raid near Damascus has claimed the life of 43 people, human rights group reports. The future of Syria is uncertain and we should be expecting a successor for Kofi Annan sooner than later.

The efforts of Koffi Annan to end an uprising that started in March 2011 against President Bashar-Assad’s ruling have been appreciated and recognized by the UN Chief. He recognizes that this has been the most ‘difficult’ assignment.

His statement was recorded as: ‘I wish to express my deepest gratitude to Mr Annan for the determined and courageous efforts he has made as the Joint Special Envoy for Syria,’ Ban said on Thursday.

The uprising has claimed the lives of more than 20, 000 people in Syria, human rights monitors say.

‘There’s nobody. Not one shop is open; the houses have been deserted by their inhabitants fearing violence – everyone has fled,’ Syrian resident says.

The United Nations will end its mission later this month as their term expires. They have also started winding down the mission activities. So many questions are left unanswered at this point, as the future of Syria is uncertain.

Journalists are restricted from accessing Aleppo, making it difficult to get a clear picture of the current situation in Aleppo. The internet and mobile services that were cut down on Wednesday night were restored in Aleppo by Thursday afternoon.

It has been reported that US President Barack Obama signed a covert document authorizing US support for the rebels. The US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was in Jordan for talks on Syria with King Abdullah II on Thursday.

Pentagon spokesman George Little said, ‘They agreed that strong international pressure needs to be sustained to make it clear that Assad must go, and the Syrian people deserve to determine their own future,’

As of Thursday the number uprising has claimed the lives of 30 civilians,10 rebels and 11 soldiers.