UN to Send 300 Observers to Syria

Move comes as violence continues
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 21, 2012 10:53 AM CDT
This image made from amateur video and released by Shaam News Network Friday shows an explosion amid heavy shelling in the Khaldiyeh area of Homs, Syria.   (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

(Newser) – The Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution expanding the number of UN observers in Syria from 30 to 300 and demanding an immediate halt to the violence that has been escalating since a cease-fire supposedly took effect over a week ago. The resolution approved today gives Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon authority to decide when to deploy the additional observers, based on developments on the grounds including "the consolidation of the cease-fire."

Ban accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Thursday of failing to honor the cease-fire, expressing dismay at the upsurge in violence. The resolution merges rival Russian and European texts and dropped a European threat of non-military sanctions if Syria fails to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from towns and cities.

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