United Nations and Syrian officials are trying to work out details for a U.N. observer mission tasked with monitoring a cease-fire deal reached last week that is aimed at ending months of bloodshed.
But NPR's Grant Clark reports that ongoing violence is raising concerns that the observer mission can go forward as planned. He says the U.N. team is in Syria amid intense military shelling for a fourth day of the opposition stronghold of Homs.
We turn our attention now to Syria. United Nations observers are preparing to travel to Syria this week to start monitoring the fragile cease-fire between government forces and rebel fighters. The U.N. Security Council yesterday approved the deployment of a 30-member team. The monitors will have their work cut out for them. As NPR's Grant Clark reports from Beirut, military bombardment is reportedly continuing, despite an agreed truce.
The early word from Syria is that "flashpoints of the 13-month uprising against President Bashar Assad were quiet Thursday ... suggesting a U.N.-brokered truce was starting to take hold and the regime was keeping a pledge to halt its assault on opposition strongholds," The Associated Press reports.
As al-Jazeera and other news outlets report being told by activists that Syrian government forces are shelling the city of Homs and attacking and arresting opponents of President Bashar Assad in other places, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan continues to press for a true ceasefire to take effect on Thursday.