(17/07/2012) Jouret al Shiyah, Homs, #Syria: Rockets falling upon the city
The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously in favour of dispatching a team of observers, with a six-strong team due to arrive tonight.
UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said the monitors would be ‘on the ground in blue helmets tomorrow’, with around 30 more observers to be recruited from the region immediately ahead of a full quota of 250 by the end of the week.
But the Bashar al-Assad regime’s commitment to the ceasefire has come under fresh suspicion after activists reported heavy shelling of residential neighbourhoods in Homs, with at least three deaths reported.
The Local Coordination Committees activist network said shells were falling at the rate of six every minute in Khaldiyeh, with artillery fire also reported in Bayada, Jouret el-Shayah, Qarabees and Qusour.
The claims are impossible to verify as foreign journalists are banned from Syria.
But a Homs-based activists contacted via Skype who gave his name only as Yazan said: ‘What ceasefire? There’s an explosion every five to six minutes. I can also hear the sound of a reconnaissance plane. It’s flying very low.’
Describing rubble-strewn roads and badly-damaged apartment blocks, he continued: ‘If you saw Homs right now you wouldn’t recognise it. You walk around and it’s not unusual to find dead people in cars on the street.’
The ceasefire negotiated by former UN secretary general Mr Annan began last week, but a precondition of rebels and government forces withdrawing from heavily-populated areas was not respected.
His six-point plan calls for political talks between the regime and the opposition to eventually begin, with analysts painting the peace deal as the last diplomatic solution for the crisis in Syria sparked by the regime’s brutal crackdown on peaceful protests that began 13 months ago that has seen at least 9,000 people killed.
The deployment of international observers to Syria was the first time the UN Security Council had come together on Syria after China followed Russia’s leading in backing Moscow’s key ally in the Middle East.
Mr Annan had said he was ‘very relieved and happy’ about the vote.
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon added: ‘I will make sure that this advanced observer mission will be dispatched as soon as possible and try to make concrete proposals by April 18 for an official observer mission.’
Jouret al Shiyah, Homs #Syria: As you can see here, former activist Sameer was an honourable and well-loved relative and friend as he was mourned by them in this video 14/4/2012
#Syria: Homs activist Omar Tellawi announced the death of fellow activist and dear friend Sameer who was killed at a hospital in Jouret Al Shiyah while filming the bombing attacks by the Assad’s army today. 14/4/2012