GENEVA - An advance team of UN ceasefire monitors started work in Syria on Monday, seeking to ensure that both government forces and the opposition respect the terms of a truce, mediator Kofi Annan's spokesman said.

A team of six observers arrived in Damascus late on Sunday night, led by Moroccan Colonel Ahmed Himmiche.

"The mission will start with setting up operating headquarters this morning, and reaching out to the Syrian government and the opposition forces so that both sides fully understand the role of the UN observers," spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in a statement.

"The remaining 25 are expected to arrive in the next few days," he said.

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