BEIRUT - The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to dispatch a first team of monitors to Syria to shore up a brittle ceasefire as escalating fighting between regime and rebel forces threatened the truce at the heart of special envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan.
Syrian troops shelled residential neighbourhoods and rebel gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades in the central city of Homs in the first use of heavy weapons since the ceasefire officially took effect on Thursday.
Loud booms echoed across the city as smoke rose above badly damaged apartment blocs. In other parts of Syria, both sides described several deadly shootings and ambushes, and reported at least 14 people were killed.
Saturday's resolution gave the 15-nation Security Council its first united front since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began 13 months ago.