Assad's fate is unclear in world powers' Syria plan
"I would doubt that the Syrians who have fought so hard for their independence to be able to have a say in how they are governed and who governs them will select people with blood on their hands to lead them.
"I cannot say that I am really happy but I am content with the outcome today."
Mr Annan's plan for a negotiated solution to the 16-month-old conflict is the only one on the table. More than 10,000 people have been killed since the anti-Assad uprising began and the past few weeks have been among the bloodiest.
However Syrian opposition groups rejected a UN-brokered plan for peaceful political transition in the country.
Senior figures called the proposals “ambiguous” and a “waste of time”, and vowed not to negotiate with Dr Assad or members of his “murderous” regime.
Veteran Syrian opposition figure Haitham Maleh asked: “Every day I ask myself, ‘Do they not see how the Syrian people are being slaughtered?’
“It is a catastrophe, the country has been destroyed - and they want us then to sit with the killer?”
Mr Maleh described the agreement reached in Geneva as a waste of time and of “no value on the ground”.
“They Syrian people are the ones who will decide the battle on the ground, not those sitting in Geneva or New York or anywhere else,” he said.
There was no reaction from the Syrian regime to the Annan plan, but Dr Assad has repeatedly said his government has a responsibility to eliminate terrorists and will not accept any non-Syrian model of governance.
State-run newspaper Al-Thawra said today that “the Syrians are the ones who can determine their future”.
Dr Assad's government forces killed more than 30 people in Damascus yesterday when they fired a mortar bomb into a funeral procession for a man who died in shelling a day before, said opposition activists.
Syrian forces swept through the corpse-strewn streets of nearly-deserted opposition districts on the outskirts of the capital today as the conflict enters a new phase of heavier fighting near Dr Assad's seat of power.
Residents of the Zamalka district on the capital's outskirts were struggling today to bury dozens of people killed by the mortar bomb yesterday.
Meanwhile Turkey's armed forces command said today it had scrambled a total of six F-16 fighter jets in three separate incidents responding to Syrian military helicopters approaching the border yesterday, but there was no
violation of Turkish airspace.
It said in a statement four of the jets had scrambled from Incirlik air base in southern Turkey in response to Syrian
helicopters flying south of the Turkish province of Hatay, and two more F-16s took off from a base in Batman after Syrian helicopters were spotted close to the border south of the Turkish province of Mardin.