UN suspends mission in Syria amid rising violence

Activists say some 14,000 people have been killed till now.

Written by Associated Press | Beirut | Published:June 17, 2012 1:12 am

UN observers in Syria suspended their activities and patrols on Saturday because of the escalating violence in the country,the head of the mission said,the strongest sign yet that an international peace plan for Syria was indeed disintegrating.

Maj. Gen. Robert Mood said rising bloodshed over the past 10 days was posing significant risks to the lives of the some 300 observers in the country,and was impeding their ability to carry out their mandate.

“UN observers will not be conducting patrols and will stay in their locations until further notice,” he said in a statement on Saturday. He said the suspension will be reviewed on a daily basis.

The suspension signals unraveling of Annan’s plan as the conflict that began in March 2011 with peaceful protests challenging the regime spirals closer toward civil war. Activists say some 14,000 people have been killed till now.

Russia sending missile systems to shield Syria

Russia’s chief arms exporter on Friday said his company was shipping advanced defensive missile systems to Syria that could be used to shoot down airplanes or sink ships if the United States or other nations try to intervene to halt the country’s spiral of violence.

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