Observers tour Damascus area as bombing continues in Homs

Published April 23rd, 2012 - 12:23 GMT

The UN observers overseeing a fragile ceasefire in Syria on Monday began their second week of mission with trips to the outskirts of the capital. The peacekeepers are around Damascus, said Neeraj Singh, an official of the UN advance team. He said they visited the rebel city of Zabadani, 47 km northwest Damascus, a regular flashpoint of anti-regime demonstrations and clashes between government forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

According to an activist on the spot, Mohammad Fares, a member of Local Coordination Committees (LCC), the observers' visit lasted half an hour. "The team continues its work, making daily visits and establishing contacts with all parties to prepare for the supervision mission of the UN in Syria," added Mr. Singh.

The official SANA news agency reported Monday on a visit by the UN observers in the neighborhood of al-Waer in Homs. According to Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR), observers have also visited the town of al-Bab, in the province of Aleppo where government forces were conducting searches and arrests.

On Sunday, observers had visited the provinces of Homs and Hama, in the center of the country. Since Saturday night, two observers have settled in the city of Homs, known as the capital of the revolution, at the request of residents who fear new attacks.

Yazen Abu al-Homsi, a local activist expressed doubts over the success and the effectiveness of this mission. "I do not understand exactly the purpose of this mission. If it is to give more time to the murderer Bashar (Assad), we can do without observers," he stated. The bombing of the district Khaldiye continued all night and until the dawn under the eyes and ears of these observers, he said, adding that the shooting had also sounded Monday in Homs.

Government forces killed three civilians Sunday in Homs, according to SOHR, which reported a total of 17 deaths in the day across the country. 


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