Violence continues to escalate in Syria today with at least 70 people killed. This is in addition to the United Nation’s estimated 9,000 people death toll since the initially peaceful uprising began 13 months ago. Tuesday marks the passing of an agreed upon deadline for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to withdraw troops from cities and towns, according to CNN.
Kofi Annan, the United Nations-Arab League envoy to Syria, expressed “grave” concern to the U.N. Security Council about the continued violence.
In a letter, Annan said the Syrian government needed to send a powerful political signal of peace” and has not done so.
“The cessation of violence in all its forms is a first but essential step. It must not be delayed by new conditions. Violence must stop now,” Annan said.
Though the Syrian government said it took measures to stand down, Annan said the forces had “conducted rolling military operations in population centers, characterized by troop movements into towns supported by artillery fire.”
More than 24,000 Syrians have crossed the border to Turkey. Syria’s battle recently spilled over to Turkey, with casualties at refugee camps on Monday.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will not turn away Syrian refugees.
"You can clearly see how individuals are running away from Syria. They are running away from death. We cannot shut down our doors to these people," Erdogan said. "If the doors are shut down, they will be toasted. Such a scenario is unacceptable."