Annan heads to Syria in bid to quell violence
Assad ally Russia joins UN rebuke after massacre
International efforts to pressure Syria intensified Monday, as the U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan began negotiations in Damascus and the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff warned that continued atrocities could make military intervention more likely. Annan traveled to Syria seeking to salvage his peace plan, which appeared more precarious than ever after the massacre of at least 108 villagers in the Houla area of central Syria. He urged the government to hold to its commitment in March.