Ban Ki-moon on Thursday said he has asked the Security Council to authorize the deployment of 300 unarmed observers to Syria for a supervision mission to monitor the precarious ceasefire despite “deeply troubling evidence” that Syrian troops have not ceased all violence. Ban’s proposal is that the observers be deployed “over a period weeks, in approximately ten locations.” The name of the proposed operation is the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS). The U.N. chief said there is no agreement yet with Syria on using U.N. helicopters and airplanes. The Syrian government told him they will be responsible for transporting the observers and assured him that the monitors will have free mobility. “I hope they will keep their promise,” Ban said.
UN armored vehicles are unloaded from an Italian aircraft
carrier in Beruit on April 17 for use by advance observer mission
in Syria. (Courtesy: UN Photo)