UN Observers Suspend Syria Mission, To No One’s Surprise

Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, the head of the United Nations observer mission in Syria, issued a statement on Saturday that the mission is suspended due to rising violence. The 298 military observers are unable to carry out their mandate and will remain in their locations in Syria “until further notice.” Gen. Mood emphasized that the violence has escalated in the past ten days.

Early in May, Gen. Mood’s own convoy just missed being hit by a roadside bomb — a Syrian military truck was struck instead — in southern Syria. The following week, observers’ cars were damaged by a roadside bomb in the northern town of Khan Sheikoun, where the observers were meeting with rebels opposing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Last week, observers were prevented from entering the town of Haffa in the coastal Latakia region to investigate reports of a massacre and shots were fired at their convoy.

The observers have been in Syria as part of the six-point peace plan negotiated by Kofi Annan, the special envoy to the UN. The plan had called for a cease-fire starting April 12 but neither the Syrian regime nor the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) has honored it.

The New York Times observes that the suspension of the observers’ mission is “the latest sign that a peace plan brokered by Mr. Annan is disintegrating.” But the continued bloodshed including the Houla massacre in which 108 were slain, including dozens of children has cast serious doubt on Annan’s peace plan for weeks. As the BBC’s Jim Muir frankly observes, the suspension of the observer mission is a sure sign that Annan’s peace plan “has hit the rocks, and greatly increases the pressure on international diplomacy to salvage it.”

Members of the Syrian opposition have expressed deep frustation with the peace mission. Activist Rami Abdul-Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told the New York Times that it was better that the observers, who “couldn’t do anything,” simply leave. Reporting from Istanbul where opposition activists are meeting on Sunday, Al Jazeera’s Anita McNaught describes a “lack of surprise on the whole” about the suspension of the UN mission, whose efforts have consistently been blocked by Assad’s regime.

McNaught suggested that the suspension of the UN mission could put pressure on China and Russia, who have insisted on Annan’s peace plan being carried out and refused efforts by the UN Security Council to demand that Assad step down. International powers have clung to the plan and to a diplomatic solution as it has been and is the only option; there has been no request for military intervention like that in Libya.

Activists reported that the central city of Homs and parts of the capital of Damascus were shelled overnight.

Over 10,000 people have died in the Syrian uprising since it began in March of 2011, says the UN.

Previous Care2 Coverage

Syria is Officially in Civil War…Although the Opposition Denies It (Video)

Syrian Children Used As Human Shields on Tanks, Says UN Report

Even Animals Not Spared in Grisly Massacre in Syrian Town


Photo by FreedomHouse2


Martin L.
Martin L5 years ago

The US, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar never for one minute supported the UN's so-called "Peace Mission" for Syria. They have all stood on the side of illegal regime change, regardless of the efforts of others to broker any form of peace.

The afore mentioned countries political leaders have not learned from previous (recent) mistakes and illegal interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya; that toppling a former regime or contrived enemy brings nothing but greater death and human suffering to the people of that country.

The American plan of global domination and empire expansion is growing by the day. After all, America has hundreds of military bases in over 100 hundred countries worldwide, with special Opps and CIA "Insurgents" in many, many others. The US with its lackey chums are the world’s evil doers, not countries defending its sovereignty and borders from Western and Arab backed terrorists.

paul m.
paul m5 years ago

Power, Money and Greed who cares what the Syrian People want ?
Assad could move out and with his money buy a small Country elswhere ,but no and this
civil war will get worse.

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago

A very sad state of affairs.

Arild Warud

That Kofi Annan peaceplan is just a joke.

Ira Herson
Ira Herson5 years ago

The article is about the UN being frustrated by the failure of the brokered peace plan. Many of the people who have commented in this thread have expressed the desire to see the UN take an active role to stop the violence.

It would be a nice fantasy to picture a benevolent world organisation that would break up warring factions.

The UN has not been given that position. The observers and monitors can only monitor and observe.

Since this conflict started there have been wild statements as to who is to blame. Who started this and why. Many speculations tend to blame everyone but the people fighting. It is the Americans, Israelis, Russians, Chinese Iranians, Al Qaeda. Could it be the Syrians?

One person on this list had even compared the Syrian uprising to the US Civil War. This whole thing just gets further off topic as biased political leanings are introduced.

So let’s just stick to the facts that we know.
The UN blames both sides for continued violence. The UN has been under attack and they are not allowed to take any action. There are heavy arms used against civilians. There are terror attacks in populated areas.

No one knows what is really going on except that there is suffering and bloodshed. I for one am sickened by this and hope to see an end.

Walter G.
Walter G5 years ago

I quietly predicted the outcome to myself when I saw the choice of facilitators. When they dusted off that old, corrupt, inept shell of a retired 'diplomat' for the job the result was predictable. Why? So that Congress could start the calls for us to enter yet another oil war! Now our Defense Department is crying because it will soon be paying more to support its responsibilities to former military than active duty. Whose fault is that? Look no further than the ridiculous pricing of DOD assets. the more a toilet seat costs, the more can be skimmed off of the purchase somewhere along the line. Actually the war seems to be not on the enemy, but on the Ametricans paying for it in blood and money.

Juliet Defarge
judith sanders5 years ago

And this is why we need drones. This is the best way to find out what's actually going on.

"al-Assad refuses to see the pain and suffering he and his dictatorial regime have caused "
Are you kidding? He knows, he's dancing with glee.

Richard B.
Richard B5 years ago

I think it's a cop-out when many technologies exist to monitor hazardous processes.

Richard B.
Richard B5 years ago

If it gets too dangerous, can they use some kind of remote-controlled robot to monitor the situation?

Jen Matheson
Past Member 5 years ago

I don't want the U.N. to add to the violence in Syria, but on the other hnad, I find it a bit absurd that they're quitting toue to thi violence. Sems like they're more worried about their own ment than anyone else.