UN Security Council agrees to expand Syria monitors mission
The United Nations Security Council on Saturday authorized the deployment of 300 unarmed military personnel to monitor the April 12 ceasefire in Syria, dpa reported.
An advance team of 30 UN monitors is currently in Syria and Saturday visited the dissident province of Homs.
The council vote establishes the UN Supervision Mission in Syria for an initial period of three months.
It is mandated to monitor the ceasefire "in all its forms by all parties" and the withdrawal of Syrian troops and heavy weapons from populated areas.
The mission will also monitor the implementation of the six-point plan by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, a former UN secretary general.
The council gave "full support for and calls for the urgent, comprehensive, and immediate implementation of all elements of the envoy's six-point proposal."
It also called for an end to all violence and human rights violations, and a Syrian-led political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system, which is a key provision of Annan's plan.
The UN said this week that Damascus had failed to carry out the main demands of the ceasefire, including withdrawing troops from populated centres and stopping the use of heavy weapons.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday criticized the fact that there had been "no progress" in implementing the ceasefire in Syria and said the continued violence on the ground was "unacceptable."