Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

Terrorism & Security

All parties make contingency plans as Syria's cease-fire wobbles (+video)

The US envoy to the UN warned that a monitor mission could be curtailed, while rebel fighters amassed weapons in preparation for a renewal of fighting.

By Staff writer / April 17, 2012

UN observers, led by Moroccan Col. Ahmed Himmiche (l.), leave the Sheraton Hotel in Damascus, Syria, Monday, April 16. An advance team of UN observers on Monday was working out with Syrian officials the ground rules for monitoring the country's 5-day old cease-fire.

Bassem Tellawi/AP


• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

Skip to next paragraph

Recent posts

An initial deployment of United Nations monitors arrived in Syria yesterday to oversee the cease-fire that went into effect last week, but within hours, the US envoy to the UN was warning that their mission could be cut short because of reports of renewed violence. 

The UN said that although violence has lessened since the cease-fire went into effect April 12, it received reports yesterday of shelling and arrests by regime forces and executions of regime soldiers by rebel fighters. Homs was shelled for the third day in a row, according to activists, and reports of fighting surfaced in Idlib and Hama, Reuters reports.

IN PICTURES: Conflict in Syria

The UN human rights team reported a "deteriorating humanitarian situation" and said it was "seriously concerned over ... the shelling of the (Khalidiya) neighbourhood and other districts in Homs by government forces and the use of heavy weaponry, such as machine guns in other areas, including Idlib and some suburbs of Damascus." New arrests in Hama and Aleppo were also raising concern. 

The number of deaths has steadily risen since the initial dip at the outset of the cease-fire, and at least 26 were killed yesterday, according to the Associated Press.

"Should the violence persist and the ceasefire, or cessation of violence more aptly, not hold, that ... will call into question the wisdom and the viability of sending in the full monitoring presence," envoy Susan Rice said, according to Reuters.

A handful of monitors are already on the ground. Over the weekend, the Security Council voted to put up to 30 on the ground.

As it has done since the outset of the uprising, the government blamed the violence on armed terrorists, saying "aggression by the groups had 'hysterically escalated' since the start of the cease-fire," CNN reports. Rebel fighters have used the relative lull in violence to prepare for a possible collapse of the cease-fire, amassing weapons. 


Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!