U.N. Suspends Mission in Syria

by Patrick Brennan

The U.N. supervising mission which had been sent to Syria to report on the levels of violence as part of Kofi Annan’s decrepit peace plan, has now been suspended — because of escalating violence. CNN reports:

The United Nations suspended all activities in Syria on Saturday due to the escalating levels of violence, the head of the global body’s mission said.

“There has been an intensification of armed violence across Syria over the past 10 days,” said Gen. Robert Mood, head of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria. “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,” Mood said.

The situation, Mood said, was too high risk.

The U.N. monitors, whose number gradually rose to about 300, were sent in to ensure that both President Bashar al-Assad and opposition fighters were abiding by a six-point peace plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan.

Violence has soared in recent days with reports of heavy government bombardment of town and chilling massacres of civilians. On some occasions, the monitors themselves have come under fire. . . .

He said U.N. observers will no longer be conducting patrols and will stay in their locations until further notice.

Regardless of serious concerns about U.N. peacekeeping in general and their presence and plan in Syria specifically, it’s important to note that without the blue helmets, it will become increasingly difficult to document Assad’s atrocities — and he might be more likely to get away with a 1980s-style crushing of the uprising. The fog of war will now settle even thicker than it was when they were active (during which it was already possible to have a rousing debate here on the Corner about how the Houla massacre occurred), and that is an unequivocally bad thing for the people of Syria.

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