UN Security Council approves monitors’ deployment to Syria

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously agreed to send an initial team of unarmed truce observers to Syria.

The resolution, which authorizes the dispatch of an advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers to Syria to monitor compliance with the ceasefire agreement, passed 15-0.

The observers will be tasked with establishing and maintaining contact with both sides of the conflict, and making reports on compliance with the ceasefire agreement until a full mission is deployed in the country.

The observer team is expected to arrive within a few days of the resolution’s passing Saturday.

The resolution also calls on both sides to immediately “cease all armed violence in all its forms,” and for the Syrian government to implement the demand by international envoy Kofi Annan to pull troops and heavy weapons out of cities and towns.

Russia, which has previously vetoed a number of resolutions on Syria, expressed satisfaction with the latest document. Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Moscow has always supported Annan’s peace plan, and that the unanimous decision made by the UNSC reflects constructive work done by its members.

“Under the influence of Russia and a number of other Security Council members, the draft resolution has been significantly changed,” Churkin told the UNSC. “It became more balanced and started to represent reality more adequately. It has taken into account the prerogatives of Syria’s government, which will be admitting the UN observer mission.”

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