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Syria vows to execute 'terrorists' after worst day of violence

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Both the Observatory and the rebel coalition also say that some 40 others were killed in violence across Syria – including three government soldiers in Idlib and nine people each in the key rebel cities of Deraa and Homs. The estimates put Monday's death toll at 110 or more, which would be the highest single-day tally during the nine-month uprising. The BBC notes that the claims could not be confirmed due to Syria's ban on foreign journalists.

Yesterday's violence starkly contrasts with Syria's signing yesterday of an Arab League peace deal, which allows international monitors into the country. But analysts doubt Syria's commitment. The BBC's Jim Muir writes, "Only by force has [the government] been able to maintain some kind of control over many places. … If that iron grip is relaxed, those areas could slide immediately out of control, leaving only Damascus and Aleppo more or less with the regime."

Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy underscored the risk President Bashar al-Assad faces if he withdraws his troops, reports The Jerusalem Post.   

Mr. Assad “hides behind sovereignty, and this plan would seem to put his activities in the spotlight. He will now try to skirt around the plan to his advantage and play for time,” he said. “If he pulls back from cities and people protest, the true scale of the uprising will be apparent. That will be hard for him to handle politically.”

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