(NEW YORK) -- Responding to reports of another large-scale massacre of civilians in Syria, United Nations special emissary Kofi Annan told the Security Council Thursday that action must be taken quickly to stop President Bashar al-Assad's forces or else the crisis will "spiral out of control."
So far, the Council has supported Annan's ceasefire pact, passed two resolutions to put monitors on the ground in Syria and condemned the 15-month cycle of violence that has cost an estimated 13,000 lives as al-Assad desperately tries to hold onto power.
News that dozens of civilians were found slain Wednesday in the country’s northern Hama province, an apparent massacre that called to mind the recent slaughter of more than 100 civilians in Houla, may have been the last straw for the international community.
The Security Council members went into a meeting after Annan urged them to apply "united" and "substantial" pressure on al-Assad to end his government’s crackdown on dissidents who the president claims have been incited by outside "terrorists."
Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council that the 300 observers checking to see if both sides are complying with the ceasefire pact are in serious jeopardy from heavy weapons, armor-piercing bullets and surveillance drones.
Syrian forces are using what they can to chase monitors away from areas where they've been accused of staging attacks on civilians, according to Ban Ki-Moon.
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