Beirut: United Nations observers monitoring the turmoil in Syria suspended operations on Saturday in response to escalating violence which threatens to kill off a tattered peace plan brokered by international mediator Kofi Annan.
Chief monitor General Robert Mood said the fighting posed a threat to his unarmed observers, one of whose patrols was fired upon four days ago, and prevented them from carrying out their mandate to oversee Annan's widely ignored April 12 ceasefire.
"There has been an intensification of armed violence across Syria over the past 10 days," Mood said in statement.
"The lack of willingness by the parties to seek a peaceful transition, and the push towards advancing military positions is increasing the losses on both sides."...more
10:30 PM, Jun 16, 2012