Syria’s President Assad has told the head of the United Nations that all military and police action against pro-democracy demonstrators has stopped.
According to the UN, Ban Ki-moon told Assad he was alarmed at reports of widespread violations of human rights and the excessive use of force against civilians throughout Syria.
A crackdown in Latakia in recent days – including an assault on a Palestinian refugee camp – helped crank up international pressure on Assad.
Residents there said hundreds of people had been rounded up and taken to a sports stadium.
Some estimates say more than 2,000 people have been killed by Syrian security forces over the past five months in their attempt to put down the popular uprising against President Assad’s rule.
The UN is expected to refer the Syrian crackdown to the International Criminal Court.