Violence in Syria and at its borders continued to rage Monday on the eve of a cease-fire that analysts said they doubted would be agreed to by President Bashar Assad.
“The Syrian government is in a race against time to basically crush the armed wing of the uprising and have the upper hand in any political negotiations,” said Fawaz Gerges, director of the Middle East Center, London School of Economics.
“The Assad regime and the rebels have locked themselves into a protracted and bloody conflict. Both camps are planning for the long term,” he said.
Syrian forces fired across the border into a refugee camp in Turkey, wounding five people, authorities said. The soldiers were firing at rebels who tried to escape after ambushing a military checkpoint, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. On the border with Lebanon, a cameraman for Lebanon’s Al Jadeed TV station was killed by shots fired from Syria, the station said.
Turkey shelters thousands of refugees fleeing Assad’s military, which has killed 9,000 people since March 2011 in an attempt to put down an uprising, according to the United Nations.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry demanded Syria stop shooting across the border, saying that the refugees “are under the full protection of Turkey.”