UN considers deploying peacekeepers to Syria
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem (R) speaks with UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos during a meeting in Damascus on December Saturday. Muallem called on the United Nations to intervene and lift sanctions imposed on Syria, SANA reported. (AFP PHOTO/HO/SANA)
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The UN is considering deploying up to 10,000 peacekeepers in Syria as an emergency measure, reported Russian news agency Ria Novosti, citing sources in the UN.
According to the report by Ria Novosti, the UN is putting together a contingency plan, should the Security Council give the go-ahead for intervention in the 21-month conflict.
The anonymous UN source reportedly said the contingency plan involves 4,000 to 10,000 peacekeepers - made up of observers and civilian units as well as troops - being deployed in Syria.
The source said: “The problem is that the UN does not have any resources to spare at the moment. We would have to relocate some of the 115,000 peacekeepers currently deployed in different countries and send them to Syria.”
In the past, UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has signaled the need for a peacekeeper mission to the embattled nation to push for a ceasefire between opposition groups and government forces.
Meanwhile the conflict inside Syria continues to escalate.
According to online reports, for the first time since the start of the revolution, fighter jets are bombing Palestinian refugee camp, Yarmouk Camp, in Damascus.
This follows news last week that the Syrian regime has been using Scud missiles against rebel groups.
According to a report on news site, The Daily Beast, citing US intelligence officials, this development is connected with North Korea's testing of a long-range missile last week.
Officials claim that North Korea is a supplier and advisor to Syria's Scud-missile program and has also helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to develop a program for his regime to make the medium to long-range missiles itself.
Christopher Harmer, a senior naval analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, told The Daily Beast: "These two things are 100 per cent connected."
Harmer and other retired and current U.S. intelligence officials told The Daily Beast that North Korea and Iran have closely cooperated on Scud programs for at least 20 years, according to U.S. assessments.