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In a statement made this morning the UN observer mission chief General Major Robert Mood announced that, given the current conditions, he was suspending the UN mission in Syria. The 300 UN representatives are in Syria to monitor a ceasefire that never really materialized. From Al Jazeera English we have this report:

The UN observer mission to Syria has suspended its activities, saying escalating violence is impeding the monitors' ability to carry out its mandate.

"UN observers will not be conducting patrols and will stay in their locations until further notice," the mission's chief General Major Robert Mood said in a statement on Saturday.

About 300 observers were deployed in Syria, tasked with monitoring a ceasefire and supporting the full implementation of a six-point peace plan drafted by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, which was supposed to lead to talks between the two sides.

However, hundreds of people have been killed since the first observers were deployed in April and the mission has been harshly criticised by the opposition.

"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: innocent civilians, men women and children are being killed every day," Mood's statement said.

"It is also posing significant risks to our observers."

He said intensifying violence in the last 10 days was "limiting our ability to observe, verify, report as well as assist in local dialogue and stability projects".

Mood said the suspension would be reviewed on a daily basis and operations would resume when the situation was fit.

As of yesterday, Assad was even using his artillery near his strongholds of Aleppo and Damascus, he is increasing his use of helicopter gunships against protesters,as after Friday pray yesterday, and what is now considered a civil war has spilled over to neighboring Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, and there is hardly a corner of Syria that has not been touched by the violence.

Discussion question for this diary: What's next for Syria?  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

    by Clay Claiborne on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 08:20:09 AM PDT

  •  Wow. This has the potential for extreme (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kimoconnor, mookins

    badness. I bet the phone lines between DC and Israel are a-humming.

    Turkey - Jordan - Lebanon: do we have treaties with any of them that could suck us in?

    I know McCain and some other old fools want to send other people's kids in to kill and be killed.

    I'm so glad the president is committed to staying out of the NEW Middle East messes - at least that is how it appears to me.

  •  I fear the civil war will grow worse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins

    I see little chance Assad is going to back down. And his opposition in the populace has gone too far to stop their efforts.

    Russia sent troops to guard their base in Syria yesterday, and is the main actor in preventing the security council from doing anything. It seems they may have even returned repaired helicopters to Syria recently.

    I do not know enough about all this but think that as long as Russia and China back Assad we are sure to see more and more violence and death.

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 08:55:36 AM PDT

    •  Russia sent troops? Very bad! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      When the US Marines first landed in Vietnam, it was to guard a base [Da Nang - March 8, 1965] and we know they did a lot more than that.

      My hope for a quick resolution to this civil war is with the Syria grunt who is still fighting for Assad. The indications from the way the fighting is expanding is that increasing numbers of them are deserting Assad and joining the FSA.

      The increase use of helicopters and now the introduction of Russian soldiers also indicates that the soldiers of the indigenous client state are no longer cutting it. At least that's what happened in Vietnam.

      Russia is no longer confident that Assad's forces can defend their bases at a minimum.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 10:04:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Utterly devastating (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kimoconnor

    even though I understand the suspension.  300 UN observers, unarmed and not only risking their own lives but those of Syrian citizens.

    I heard on BBC the other day that Assad's goons were posing as UN observers to target citizens who spoke with them.  Assad is a frigging war criminal.  If he gets asylum -- the country will still be in chaos until the military and thugs are incarcerated or driven out.  

    What is the answer here?  This is not Libya.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 08:56:32 AM PDT

  •  What do you think should be done Clay? (3+ / 0-)

    You're the one showing the one side of the story day after day.  What do you think?  The helicopter story regarding Russia, which has been discredited, and the continuing stories of helicopters gives the war planners the justification for the same type of no fly zone bombing attack NATO conducted on Libya.  Why not that, isn't that the next step?

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:03:04 AM PDT

    •  the helicopter story is not discredited (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins, FG

      as I understand it returning repaired helicopters vs. selling brand new helicopters...well, reparied helicopters can kill just as easily as new helicopters can.

      "Whether they are new or they are refurbished, the concern remains that they will be used for the exact same purpose that the current helicopters in Syria are being used, and that is to kill civilians," US State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was quoted as saying by Al Arabiya.

      "These are helicopters that have been out of the fight for some six months or longer. They are freshly refurbished. The question is simply what one expects them to be used for when one sees what the current fleet is doing," she said.

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

      by kimoconnor on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:08:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's not how it came out at first from Clinton. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        protectspice

        But the same question remains, what should be done, the same thing as Libya, should we bombs away at another evil dictator with weapons of mass destruction?

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:29:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no (0+ / 0-)

          I do not support military action from the US.

          Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

          by kimoconnor on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:33:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is how it first came out from Clinton: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mookins, FG
          "we are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically."
          Which remains a completely factual statement.

          The morning after I published BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters here, Russia Today mis-quoted Clinton claiming that she had used the adjective "new" so they could deny with a straight face. That was a complete lie.

          They have also denied "selling" and helicopters etc, and used other slick phrases to evade the reality that they are supplying weapons of mass murder to a mad dog killer on a rampage.

          Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

          by Clay Claiborne on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 10:34:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Another troubling question (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Claudius Bombarnac, mickT

          Having heard reports that the rebel army(for lack of a better description) is being backed by the Salafists and possibly elements of Al Qaeda, will a change result in anything other than a different brutal dictator?

          Seems like Joe Syrian is screwed no matter who wins.

          You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

          by Johnny Q on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 12:27:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Chopper story has not been discredited (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      The Russian government is returning to Syria three Hind helicopter gunships sent to Russia in 2009 for repairs.

      Three gunships that will be added to Assad's helicopter fleet. Which he is now employing to attack towns and villages.

      Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/TarantinoDork

      by TarantinoDork on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:15:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then do you support a no fly zone? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mookins, protectspice

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:29:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Undecided. (0+ / 0-)

          The comparative sophistication of Assad's air defense network (including Pantsir-S1s and S-300 systems) is of major concern to me.  US planes have never gone up against them, could incur losses...and their mobile nature means they could be hidden inside populated areas.

          For the moment I remain more in favor of giving the Syrian people the tools to defend themselves from Assad.  While maintaining the sanctions regime that has forced Assad to burn through his cash reserves at a very high rate.

          Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/TarantinoDork

          by TarantinoDork on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:53:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  BigAlinWashSt : In a big city like Los Angeles, we (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      hear news about murders every week. The reporters will tell us who was murdered, they may tell us who is thought to have committed the crime, how many shots were fired, what type of gun was used and other details. But I have never heard them mention whether the gun was new or refurbished. Now why is that?

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 10:18:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You obviously oppose "continuing stories of helos" (0+ / 0-)

      Even though Assad's helicopters have played an increasing role in attacking Syrian including, according to the UN. You probably also object to the fresh crops of YouTube videos of Assad's combat helicopters on a rampage.

      I have yet to see you object to Assad's helicopters attacking Syrians but you are here to speak out against stories about these helicopters. You seem to prefer that quiet is kept.

      What's with you?

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 11:49:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Regardless your propaganda, what's happening (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mickT, truong son traveler

        in series is another in a long line of western instigated regime change and country destabilization campaigns.  They're using the Sunni/Shia divide they've fostered, imported terrorists and mercenaries into Syria, armed them, created death squads, etc.  Syria of course is one of the countries on the neocon hit list that General Wesley Clark told us about a number of years ago, just as was Libya.  This is all about hegemony in the Middle East and Africa, and weakening Iranian and Russian influences, ridding both of an ally.  
        Assad is a bad guy , lots of bad guys and shitty governments.  But this is an engineered agressive proxy war that Assad is responding to with varied outside interests all pouncing at once.  The Syrian people, particularly the Christians, Alawites and Shia, are the losers no matter what unless not only Assad but all outside influences call off the dogs.  

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 12:58:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And now the Frankfurter Allegemeine has confirmed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mickT, truong son traveler

        it's earlier report that the Houla massacre was done by the forces aligned with the Free Syrian Army.  

        Believe what you want from the MSM or the propaganda outlets set up by the Pentagon and others, but there are other stories coming out that should be considered.

        http://www.wsws.org/...

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 01:01:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Short of a Naval blockade (0+ / 0-)

    In which all shipment to Syria is halted ,the massacre of innocent  will not stop, if thier is no orderly exit of Assad , Syria will be the launching ground for international terrorism , with it vast amount of chemical and biological weapon stopile, it seem to me ,certain government are content with Assad in power ,was thier the same justification of the removal of Saddam

  •  Syria is a tragic mess. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins

    As distinct from Libya, which was essentially "on the periphery," Syria plays too central and too influential a role in the region for any reasonable person or administration to advocate for intervention beyond perhaps a peacekeeping force composed of Arab League members. In reality such a force would be unlikely to receive Assad's approval unless the terms of acceptance made it utterly toothless, so we're back to zero.

    Until there is a military coup, Assad will remain. It stinks, but there it is...

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:17:54 AM PDT

  •  "What's next for Syria?", eh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt

    What's your niche, man?

    Hopefully peace is what's next for Syria, but it would certainly be a first given the circumstances.

  •  Need a laugh? Here's my take on the UN in Syria (0+ / 0-)

    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

    by Clay Claiborne on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 11:53:03 AM PDT

  •  Interesting debate on what is behind the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickT

    uprising in Syria.

    The Syria Debate - Sukant Chandan and Mark Bergfield debate Syria

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