Syrians walk through a badly damaged neighborhood in the central city of Homs on Sunday. Despite a declared cease-fire, fighting has continued in a number of Syrian cities, and peace efforts are at risk of collapsing.
In the final scenes of the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, the Arab rebel fighters are wrapped up with internal, petty squabbles in Damascus as the great powers maneuver for the future of Syria.
Now, nearly a century after the events depicted in that movie, there's a similar Lawrence of Arabia moment playing out in Syria.
In a letter to the United Nations Security Council, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the Syrian government is not living up to its end of the bargain on a week-old cease-fire deal.
Ban says the government has failed to keep its pledge to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from cities, but adds that he still thinks there is "opportunity for progress."
The Secretary General's letter comes as the U.N. and Syria apparently worked out details of an observer mission to monitor the shaky deal meant to end more than a year of bloodshed that has killed an estimated 9,000 people.
United Nations and Syrian officials are trying to work out details for a U.N. observer mission tasked with monitoring a cease-fire deal reached last week that is aimed at ending months of bloodshed.
But NPR's Grant Clark reports that ongoing violence is raising concerns that the observer mission can go forward as planned. He says the U.N. team is in Syria amid intense military shelling for a fourth day of the opposition stronghold of Homs.