The Syrian military has made moves to stop the attacks on the city of Homs and the uprising that is occurring against President Bashar al-Assad. The US press is not allowed to move around the area much, which limits the public knowledge base for what is happening over there.
The US military moves are not public knowledge, so many of us are unaware if there is any help being offered. What is known is that the UN military observers are allowed into Syria. These UN delegates have the US military moving to help them on a non-combative order. They are allowed to protect the delegates, but not act in any way. The British are also in on the protection detail. UN mediator Kofi Annan, who is working with the UN, was working on a peace plan that has now been abandoned in light of the recent troubles in Syria. He is definitely asking for the UN military members to observe what is going on and asks for help to stop the issues of uprising.
The original plan was to have Syrian-led political talks so that the concerns of the people could be met. Mr Annan also wanted the violence to be stopped on all sides. He asked army troops to stop using heavy artillery and to go back to the barracks. Additionally, the plan asked for humanitarian aid, to free political detainees, freedom for journalists, and to allow demonstrations to be kept peaceful.
The BBC bureau editor was able to visit Homs, which is the site of the unrest. He was able to go with the UN observers on Monday. He stated in a press release that the Syrian army was using surveillance drones to look at many of the buildings in the area that might be targets for shelling. Some mortar rounds even landed near the old city Homs at a rate of about one per minute during the UN observances.
UN delegates have been unable to get into the old city of Homs, since the army is blocking them from those opposing the Syrian leaders. It has left the military on hold and talks continuing about what might need to be done if the unrest is not stopped. The US military is ready to move to Syria if those in power wish it, but for now Syria wishes to use its own government forces to try and stop those causing the uprising. About 108 people have been killed, which is why the US and UK are wondering if more aggressive actions are needed to get peace talks started and to ease the tensions from those who would cause problems.
It seems likely that some of those causing the uprising are part of the terrorist groups that have been hunted, such as Al-Qaeda members. Both the US and British governments are concerned that terrorist attacks will continue and that some of the major players are trying to get Homs as a new base, which is another reason for the UN observers.