UN Observers Abandon Syria Mission

They say it's become too dangerous
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2012 7:27 AM CDT
A UN observer photographs an ambulance that was destroyed in a suburb of Damascus on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)

(Newser) – Another ominous development in Syria: UN observers called it quits today because of the rising violence. The Norwegian general in charge of the 300-person mission complained of a "lack of willingness" from both sides to stop fighting, reports the BBC. Gen. Robert Wood also noted a spike in violence over the last 10 days that made it too dangerous for the observers to venture out.

"This escalation is limiting our ability to observe, verify, report as well as assist in local dialogue and stability projects—basically impeding our ability to carry out our mandate," he said, according to CNN. The decision leaves Kofi Annan's peace plan in even further disarray ahead of next week's G20 summit, where President Obama and Vladimir Putin are expected to have face-to-face talks on the issue.

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