April 12 - Activists report that the Syrian government has stopped bombarding opposition areas, but many Syrians doubt President Bashar al-Assad's commitment to the ceasefire. Simon Hanna reports.
Silence falls over the Turkish-Syrian border. This Syrian outpost, manned with soldiers to prevent refugees from fleeing the country, was quiet as a ceasefire deadline passed early Thursday morning. Activists in Hama, Homs and Damascus reported that the situation was calm, although there were reports of unidentified explosions in the town of Zabadani. Syrian refugees in Turkey said they had little faith that President Bashar al-Assad would honour the ceasefire agreement. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN REFUEE HUSEYIN KASIF: "The ceasefire will not stay long. He has been promising to stop killing for a year but the killing increases. I don't think he will withdraw his tanks or his troops. He is just lying to the world. Whenever he says he will end the massacre, he kills more." In Istanbul, Bassam Imadi of the Syrian National Council was also sceptical. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SYRIAN NATIONAL COUNCIL MEMBER BASSAM IMADI: "As soon as there is a real ceasefire, people will come out to the streets, demonstrating and demanding his removal, his stepping down. So I think the regime has to retaliate by opening fire again, but let's hope for the better." The U.N. backed ceasefire is part of a plan agreed with international envoy Kofi Annan, aimed at ending more than a year of bloodshed in Syria. The agreement also called for the withdrawal of tanks from urban centres, but according to activists this has yet to happen. Simon Hanna, Reuters.