July 21 - Amateur video appears to show extensive damage and bodies in the town of Tafas as UN Security Council approves a 30-day extension of small unarmed observer mission. Sunita Rappai reports.
Chaos and carnage in the southern Syrian town of Tafas, near Deraa. Reuters is unable to independently verify the content of this video, obtained from a social media website and reportedly shot on Friday. Oppostiion group, the The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the death toll over the last 48 hours at 550 - making it the bloodiest two days of the 16-month uprising. Meanwhile UN observers begin their journey home after a shift in focus in the UN's monitoring mission. The Security Council unanimously approved a 30-day extension of Kofi Annan's peace plan, which deployed 300 unarmed observers to Syria in April. But after little progress in monitoring the non-existent truce, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has now shifted the emphasis to pursing a political solution. Diplomats say only half of the 300 observers will be needed for this. The rest are returning home - but will be ready to redeploy at short notice If needed. Sunita Rappai REuters