6 Jun 2012

Ceasefire over - Syrian rebels

5:17 pm on 6 June 2012

Rebel soldiers in Syria have announced they are abandoning a ceasefire brokered in April by the UN- Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan.

Members of the Free Syrian Army say they are no longer bound by the eight-week ceasefire after an ultimatum to the government passed last Friday.

The ABC reports they had given the government 48 hours to abide by the truce and withdraw tanks and troops from the streets.

Free Syrian Army spokesman, Sami al Kurdi said the rebels are no longer bound by the truce and have begun attacking government forces to "defend their people".

''We have decided to end our commitment to this (ceasefire)," he said from Istanbul.

''We have resumed our attacks but we are doing defensive attacks which means we are only attacking checkpoints in the cities."

The peace plan has largely been ignored by Syrian troops.

The United Nations says the Syrian government has agreed to allow aid agencies to set up field operations in four areas that have seen the most intense fighting.