UN Observers in Syria Explore Homs (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Chana Ya´ar 04/29/12)
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Two United Nations monitors have moved into an upscale hotel in
Syria´s central city of Homs, hoping to at least reduce violence
The state-run SANA news agency released a statement saying the
observers toured the Khaldiyeh district, where heavy government
artillery was fired at civilian homes. The observers saw buildings
reduced to rubble, the result of the frequent clashes between rebel
forces and those loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
An amateur video was also posted online Saturday, showing the pair
walking through a heavily damaged neighborhood in Syria´s third
But little else is known about the activities of the initial 15
members of the U.N. observer team, of whom at least 100 are expected
to arrive in the next two weeks. A group of the monitors have made
similar weekly visits to Homs, also carefully orchestrated, for the
past several weeks.
The head of the team, Norwegian Maj.-Gen. Robert Mood, is expected to
arrive Sunday in Damascus to assume command of the force, said
mission spokesperson Neeraj Singh.
A peace plan cobbled together by former U.N. Secretary-general Kofi
Annan, on behalf of the international body and the Arab League calls
for a total of 300 monitors to arrive.
The so-called “truce” that allegedly began April 12 has been largely
ignored by both sides. The government, which was to withdraw its
military hardware and forces from residential neighborhoods and other
populated areas, has done neither. The rebels have likewise continued
their ambushes on government forces.
Nearly 10,000 civilians have died in the uprising that began in March
2011 with the start of the Arab Spring protests, according to human
rights organizations and some estimates by the U.N.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 04/29/12)
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