Damascus denies access to some UN monitors

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Damascus denies access to some UN monitors

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The Syrian government will refuse access to UN monitors from countries belonging to the ‘Friends of Syria’ coalition, according to senior diplomats.

The US ambassador to the UN said Damascus has already denied entry to one observer based on his nationality.

The Friends of Syria group is made up of 14 nations, including the US, Britain and France.

Whilst a handful of monitors are already in the country, the UN Security Council says the deployment of the 300-strong team should be sped up.

But the head of the world body’s peacekeeping operations said it would take a month for at least 100 to arrive.

Their task will be to check that Bashar Assad’s government is complying with a 12-day-old, fragile ceasefire.

Peace envoy Kofi Annan has described recent reports of an upsurge in violence as unacceptable, calling the situation “bleak.”

According to the UN Refugee Agency, nearly 50,000 Syrian have fled the unrest over the past 13-months.