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Syria’s Assad says military operations ‘stopped’

August 18, 2011

Assad has refused to step down despite widespread protests

18 August 2011

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told UN chief Ban Ki-moon that military operations against protesters have “stopped”, a UN spokesman said.

He was responding to a demand from Mr Ban during a phone call that “all military operations and mass arrests must cease immediately,” the UN’s Farhan Haq said in a statement.

Mr Assad has come under mounting international pressure to end his violent crackdown on demonstrators.

Hundreds have been killed since March.

In the latest assault, Syrian forces fired on parts of the port city of Latakia, killing dozens and driving some 5,000 Palestinian refugees from their camps

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