First delegation of UN monitors reach Syria

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First delegation of UN monitors reach Syria

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Six UN monitors have arrived in Damascus to monitor the fragile Syrian ceasefire negotiated by Arab League and UN Syria envoy Kofi Annan.

Following this advance team, 25 more are expected to go to Syria in the coming days.

The UN Security Council is also likely to adopt a second resolution by the end of the week, authorising a mission of at least 250 monitors.

However, the delegation is unarmed, and there are fears for their safety as there are still reports of violence, with both the government and opposition accusing each other of breaking the ceasefire.

Activists claim neighbourhoods in the city of Homs and Idlib continue to be attacked and two people were killed by security forces in Hama.

At the refugee camps in Turkey, there is scepticism about President Bashar al-Assad’s commitment to the peace plan and little hope the UN monitors will be effective.

“Nothing will come out of this. Arab league envoys have already been there. Assad talked to them and stalled them. The Same thing will happen again. He will stall the UN monitors and lie to them like the others,” said one Syrian refugee at a Turkish camp.

There are around 25,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey and the camps are being upgraded to receive 10,000 more.

The UN Human Rights organisation (UNHRC) has begun sending aid to southern Turkey including tents and blankets.