UN Observers Under Pressure as Syria Bleeds (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/01/12)
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UN observers in Syria on Tuesday found themselves under pressure to
curtail 13-months of violence and buttress a UN-brokered ceasefire
deal as at least clashes continue.
Rights activists in the violence-rocked country say at least 23
people were killed on Tuesday, but the day is not yet complete.
According to activists, rebels killed 12 soldiers on Tuesday in the
northeastern province of Deir Ezzor.
They said one civilian was also killed when government troops
responded with rockets and machine-guns.
Elsewhere, activists reported that a mortar shell struck a village in
the northwestern province of Idlib, killing 10 people, nine of them
from one family.
The advance team of UN observers has been expanded to 30 unarmed
Their numbers do not allow them to adequately cover a nation of some
23 million people spread over more than 71,000 miles of disparate
The UN Security Council has authorized a 300-strong observer mission,
but it is not clear when it will be fully deployed.
There have been reports of government forces staging deadly raids in
areas observers have only just departed.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday repeated his call for all
sides in Syria´s year-plus bloodletting to stop armed violence and
cooperate with the UN observers to implement the April 12 cease-fire
He also condemned a recent series of bombings in the town of Idlib
and in the capital, Damascus, calling them “terrorist” attacks.
Syrian state media say a double suicide bombing in Idlib killed at
least nine people on Monday. A suicide car bombing in Damascus killed
at least nine others on Friday.
An Islamist group calling itself the al-Nusra Front claimed
responsibility for the Damascus attack.
The Syrian government blames the bombings on “armed terrorists,” a
term it uses for rebels from the Syrian Free Army who are at the fore
of an armed uprising against the 11-year autocratic rule of President
However, opposition activists and allied lawmakers in neighboring
countries accuse the government of orchestrating the attacks to
discredit the opposition.
SFA forces are primarily comprised of lightly armed and poorly
organized Syrian army defectors who are commanded by dissident senior
officers who have taken refuge in Turkey.
Analysts note they have not demonstrated technical or organizational
sophistication to conduct an ongoing bombing campaign such as the one
carried out by the al-Nusra Front. Nor have they been known to target
Instead, SFA forces have restricted themselves to traditional
guerilla hit-and-run and ambush tactics targeting soldiers rather
The United Nations estimates that at least 9,100 people have
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/01/12)
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