UK & World News
Syria UN Boss Says Monitor Team Growing Fast
The man leading the UN monitor mission to Syria has told Sky News he expects to have more than 100 observers in the country within the next few days.
Speaking in his first TV interview since arriving in Damascus, Major General Robert Mood recognised there has been criticism of the UN's slow arrival, but said he was bringing in a large team.
He said: "As we speak there are 52 in the team. At the end of today it will be 59 and we aim, in the next few days to double that.
"We have aeroplanes coming in with people and kit."
The major general said he had not underestimated the task ahead of him.
He said all the UN can do is help to facilitate dialogue to achieve a political solution to the violence.
There had been ceasefire violations by both government and opposition forces, he added.
"We are seeing by action, firings, that the ceasefire is not holding.
"But what we also see on the ground is that when we have observers present they have a calming effect.
"We can confirm that there have been firings by both sides."
Since the ceasefire was announced on April 12, up to 500 people are thought to have been killed.
The UN monitor mission is scheduled to last for 90 days by which time it will report back to the UN HQ in New York, which will decide if it wants to request an extension of the mission or collapse it.