By Jeremy Herb
The United Nations Security Council on Saturday approved sending UN observers to monitor the cease-fire in Syria, a fragile truce with reports of renewed violence on Friday.
The Security Council voted unanimously to approve the resolution for UN observers, which also calls on both sides to immediately “cease all armed violence in all its forms,” according to the Associated Press.
Russia’s ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said Moscow was satisfied that the resolution required all sides to stop the violence, according to CNN.
“There have been too many casualties, too much suffering to befall the Syrian people," Churkin said.
The resolution will send 30 unarmed military observers as an advance team to meet with both sides and report on whether the cease-fire is holding, according to the AP. The UN would then send a potential larger mission there, which Annan envisions would be about 250 observers.
The cease-fire, which began Thursday, is part of a six-point peace plan from UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, which is supposed to help bring an end to the yearlong conflict in Syria.
But Assad’s forces have not withdrawn from population centers, the first part of Annan’s plan, and the Obama administration has expressed skepticism of Syria’s commitment to the plan.
There were opposition claims of renewed violence on Saturday in Syria as the Security Council voted, and one group said at least 16 people were killed by Syrian Security forces across the country, CNN reported.
The Obama administration has not said what it would do if Annan’s peace plan fails to stop the violence. So far it has supported providing humanitarian and communications aid to the opposition forces, but has opposed sending arms or getting involved militarily.