UN Suspends Observer Mission in Syria Due to Danger (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Chana Ya´ar 06/17/12)
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UN: No Additional Monitors in Syria
The United Nations announced Saturday that it won´t send additional
monitors to Syria; the international body decided to suspend the
mission, saying it´s just too dangerous.
The observer teams who have already been planted in the civil war-
torn country have hunkered down, unable to conduct patrols.
The decision was made primarily to protect the monitors, who travel
around Syria unarmed and have been repeatedly attacked by government
forces. As a result, the teams are unable to fulfill their mandate to
verify events on the ground, other than to confirm the incessant
violence carried out by those who attack them.
Most recently, the monitors were driven away from the village of Al
Heffa, which was under assault for nearly a week by the government
forces, until all its residents fled as well.
Part of the problem has been the intransigence of Russia, a permanent
member of the U.N. Security Council. Russia has continued to arm the
Syrian government forces against the pleas of fellow Arab and
European U.N. members to support a campaign to end the violence.
As a result, it is largely unclear whether the monitors themselves
are also being targeted by the Syrian government forces and their
On Saturday, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
attacked towns and villages around Damascus, murdering dozens of
civilians, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights. Government troops conducted sweeps in which groups of
young men were arrested.
U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement Saturday via the White
House spokesman calling on Assad to uphold commitments made in the
past several months – all of which he has broken and/or ignored.
"We are consulting with our international partners regarding next
steps toward a Syrian-led political transition,” the White House
statement continued,” and “the sooner this transition takes place,
the greater the chance of averting a lengthy and bloody civil war.”
France announced last week, meanwhile, that its government is
considering providing communications equipment to the opposition
forces in order to strengthen their efforts without supplying arms.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 06/17/12)
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