Pressure on Syrian Regime Heats Up but Cease-Fire Still ‘Incomplete’
International envoy Kofi Annan is expected to brief the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, as reports of carnage in Syria steadily increase despite the council’s agreement to boost the number of monitors there.
At least 80 people were killed across Syria on Monday, including 50 in the western city of Hama, said the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists. The violence in Hama, which included heavy shelling, came a day after international monitors visited the city, the group said.
Only a handful of U.N. observers are in Syria, but the Security Council recently authorized sending up to 300 monitors for 90 days.
“It is our hope that the deployment of observers will help to stop the killing and consolidate the calm,” said B. Lynn Pascoe, U.N. under-secretary-general for political affairs. “The objective, however, is clearly not to freeze the situation but to create the conditions for a serious and credible political process.”
The monitors are tasked with observing a cease-fire imposed on April 12. The cease-fire is part of a six-point peace plan laid out by Annan and accepted by the Syrian government.
But the cessation of armed violence in Syria remains “incomplete,” and human rights violations are still perpetrated with impunity, Pascoe told the Security Council on Monday.
International leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, are ratcheting up pressure on the Syrian regime.