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Syria Monitoring Mission Authorized by UN Security Council

The United Nations Security Council today authorized the deployment of observers to Syria to monitor a cease-fire that is being tested by nationwide protests against President Bashar al-Assad.

The 15-member body voted 15-0 to pass a resolution that “calls upon the Syrian government to implement visibly its commitments in their entirety,” in accordance to a six-point plan laid out by UN special envoy Kofi Annan. An advance team of as many as 30 unarmed military observers will go to Syria, followed by a bigger mission if conditions on the ground allow it.

This is the first time the UN’s most powerful body has succeeded in passing a binding measure on Syria. Russia vetoed in October and February two draft resolutions seeking to hold Assad accountable.

The council also “expresses its intention to assess the implementation of this resolution and to consider further steps as appropriate.”

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