US: Syria violence casts doubt on UN observer mission

April 16, 2012 19:51

UNITED NATIONS - Sporadic violence across Syria in violation of a shaky 4-day-old truce cast doubt over UN plans to expand a small observer mission charged with overseeing an end to 13 months of conflict, the US envoy to the United Nations said Monday.

A handful of observers arrived in Damascus on Sunday, a day after the 15-nation UN Security Council voted unanimously to authorize an initial deployment of up to 30 unarmed observers.

The council needs to pass a second resolution to expand the mission to 250 as requested by UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan, who brokered the truce that came into effect on Thursday.

US Ambassador Susan Rice, who is president of the Security Council for April, said the United States was gravely concerned that sporadic violence continued across Syria and had appeared to intensify in cities like Homs in recent days.

"This is absolutely unacceptable," Rice told reporters.

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