The United Nations on Saturday unanimously authorized a team of unarmed truce observers to travel to Syria, media reports said. The vote was called by the United States after continued violence was reportedly carried out by Syrian government forces on the third day of an official ceasefire.
Under the ceasefire organized by U.N.-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces were called on to pull troops out of civilian areas and fall back to their bases. But after mass protests broke out in major Syrian cities after Friday prayers, violent clashes broke out once again between government forces and activists.
Casualties were reported in major Syrian cities as well as along the border with Turkey, were thousands of Syrians have fled into Turkey and Lebanon seeking refuge. The government continues to claim the casualties were not caused by their forces, but rather places the blame on Western-backed terrorists.
The U.N. vote authorizing the truce monitors passed unanimously after Russia acquiesced to revised language allowing a small advance team to enter the country before a larger contingent. Authorizing this larger contingent would require another U.N. vote.
According to the BBC, the truce observers could depart for Syria within a few hours of the vote's passing.
by RTT Staff Writer
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