Syrian troops shelled residential neighborhoods dominated by rebels in the central city of Homs Sunday, activists said, hours before the first batch of United Nations observers were to arrive in Damascus to shore up a shaky truce.
A spokesman for international envoy Kofi Annan said the group of six observers were due to arrive Sunday night and will be “on the ground in blue helmets tomorrow.”
Ahmad Fawzi told The Associated Press the six “will be quickly augmented by up to 25 to 30 from the region and elsewhere.” The observers took off soon after the U.N. Security Council in New York voted Saturday to authorize an advance team of observers to help maintain Syria’s cease-fire.
The reported shelling in Homs is threatening the truce to which President Bashar Assad and rebels fighting to topple him had agreed. Both sides accuse each other of violating the truce at the center of Annan’s peace plan.