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United Nations dispatches 30 military observers to Syria

The first day of the Syrian cease-fire but U.N. envoy Kofi Annan said that Syria has not fully complied with the peace plan by not pulling out troops and heavy weaponry. ITV's Neil Connery has more.

Updated 1:07 p.m. ET: As Syrian forces shelled the battered city of Homs through Saturday morning, the United Nations Security Council authorized the deployment of 30 unarmed observers to the country.

The military observers have been tasked with monitoring a tenuous cease-fire that began three days ago. Syrian activists said the cease-fire, called for by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, was ignored by the Syrian military.

The first group of observers was on stand-by, ready to fly to Syria when the council gave the green light, according to Reuters. 


Saturday’s resolution states that if Syria does not cooperate, the council would “assess the implementation of this resolution and to consider further steps as appropriate,” Reuters reported. 

The council reached the resolution after a 24-hour debate with Russia, according to The New York Times. It is the first resolution the 15-nation council, including China and Russia, has approved since uprisings began in Syria more than a year ago. Moscow and Beijing have twice vetoed similar council resolutions reprimanding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia's ambassador to the UN made it clear that Russia would support only limited UN action, the Guardian of London reported.

On Friday, Syrian forces used live fire, tear gas and clubs to beat back thousands of protesters who took to the streets across the country in often jubilant displays of defiance, The Associated Press reported. It was the first use of force since the cease-fire began.  

The BBC reported 750 rallies, stretching from the suburbs of Damascus, the Syrian capital, to the central province of Hama, Idib in the north and southern province of Daraa, where the uprisings began in March 2011. Six people were killed.

Syrians take to streets in test of truce

"Come on, Bashar, leave!" the crowd shouted in Daraa, linking arms and stomping their feet to the beat of a drum in a traditional Arab folk dance, The AP reported, citing a video posted online by activists.

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"We tried our best to reach Assi Square in order to show the world the truth about the regime -- they are lying and will not allow us to have big, peaceful demonstrations," Mousab Hamadee, an activist in that city, told the BBC. "As we approached Assi Square, they started opening fire on us. Two of my colleagues were martyred." 

Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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