On Thursday, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said his country was awaiting "news" from the UN secretariat regarding the next step following the UNSMIS
, reiterating willingness to cooperate with Brahimi.
The UN secretary general said he had sent peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous to join chief military adviser General Babacar Gaye in Damascus to "lead UNSMIS
in this critical phase.
Robert Mood, head of UNSMIS
, told reporters in Damascus that a group of observers about 5 kilometers away from the violence confirmed the use of heavy weapons and attack helicopters.
Ban called on the council to approve an expanded United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria, to be known as UNSMIS
, comprising an initial deployment of up to 300 military observers in approximately 10 locations throughout the country, for an initial period of three months.
Initially six personnel were deployed, but three military observers were withdrawn following the halving of overall UNSMIS
numbers in late July, New Zealand Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said in the statement.
Russia's diplomats said Washington had shown a lack of commitment to Annan's tattered April peace plan by its insistence that the monitoring mission, UNSMIS
, should be wound up when its mandate expired.
The conditions to continue UNSMIS
were not filled," France's UN ambassador, Gerard Araud, said after a Security Council meeting.
Established in April, UNSMIS
had suspended its regular patrols in mid-June due to the escalating violence, in which over 15,000 people, mostly civilians, have reportedly been killed and tens of thousands displaced since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 17 months ago.
It is now for the UN Secretary General to judge how UNSMIS
should be reconfigured.
The Security Council said it could also consider a further extension of the mandate if it could "confirm the cessation of the use of heavy weapons and a reduction in the level of violence sufficient to allow UNSMIS
to implement its mandate.
mandate ends on Friday and the western allies would only renew the mission for 45 days.
But the monitors were driven back by an angry crowd of people who threw rocks and metal bars at them, and were then fired on by unknown assailants," forcing them to retreat, the UNSMIS