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UN plans for peacekeeping force in Syria

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous cautioned the planning was in its preliminary stages and depends on approval by the UN Security Council.

Houla massacre blamed on anti government forces syriaEnlarge
Syrian fighters hold their weapons at a checkpoint controlled by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) at Epin, in the north-western province of Idlib, on April 15, 2012. The Syrian government blamed the massacre in Houla on anti-government forces on May 31, 2012, while activists maintained that it was pro-government forces that carried out the killings of 108 people. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

The United Nations is planning to assemble a peacekeeping force for Syria in the event a ceasefire is successfully brokered this week, according to a top UN official.

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous cautioned the planning was in its preliminary stages and depends on approval by the UN Security Council, Agence France Presse reported.

Russia and China have already vetoed three resolutions aimed at ending the Syrian conflict.

“We are getting ourselves ready to act if it is necessary and a mandate is approved,” Ladsous told reporters Monday, AFP wrote.

Lakhdar Brahimi, who took over as UN-Arab League peace envoy last month, wants Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and opposition rebels to accept a ceasefire for Eid al-Adha, the Islamic holiday that begins Friday, Reuters reported.

So far there has been no end to the bitter fighting in the country.

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According to the UK's Telegraph, Brahimi has been "quietly sounding out which countries would be willing to contribute soldiers" toward a peacekeeping force over the last few weeks.

The newspaper reported that the US and Britain were unlikely to contribute forces.

Ladsous said media reports of a 3,000 troop-force for Syria was “completely theoretical,” AFP said.

Meanwhile, Reuters said Syrian rebels on Monday were not optimistic about the chance of a temporary truce, as shelling around the country and heavy clashes near Damascus continued.

"The truce will not happen. We will not accept it. It's not in our interest," one rebel commander told Reuters.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/121022/un-plans-syria-peacekeeping-force-after-ceasefire