Syria denies access for some observers
Syria has denied access to its territory for at least one UN observer because of his nationality and that it would not accept peacekeepers from a country member in the "Friends of Syria" group, said Tuesday the U.S. ambassador to the UN.
Susan Rice spoke to the the press after hearing a report by United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Herve Ladsous. Speaking to the UN Security Council, he stressed that the position of the Syrian regime was "totally unacceptable.".
The "Friends of Syria" gathers primarily Western countries, like France, Britain and the United States as well as Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and Turkey, who all called to the departure of Bashar al Assad.
Meanwhile, the international mediator Kofi Annan, pleaded Tuesday for the "fast" deployment of the 300 international observers to monitor the cease-fire in Syria. "The rapid deployment of the Mission of UN supervision in Syria (MISNUS) is crucial," Annan told the Security Council. "We need to have eyes and ears on the ground, able to move freely and quickly," he said.
But he said he was "particularly concerned" by the entry of government troops into Hama, which saw "a significant number of victims." According to him, the situation in Syria continued to be "unacceptable". "Hama has been the target Monday of a military campaign in the aftermath of the visit by observers in neighborhoods of the city where they had met with residents who shared their sufferings," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
"The Syrian armed forces heavily shelled the neighborhoods of al-Arbaïne and al-Mashaa Arbaïne", according to NGOs.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday expressed outrage about the possible repression of citizens cooperating with the UN observers sent to Syria, saying it could undermine the peace plan.