Last Updated: Tue Jun 26, 2012 18:44 pm (KSA) 15:44 pm (GMT)

U.N. mission in Syria to remain suspended amid mounting violence

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous (R) and Norwegian Major-General Robert Mood, chief of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) during a field visit near Damascus last month, before the suspension of the monitors’ work. (Reuters)
United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous (R) and Norwegian Major-General Robert Mood, chief of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) during a field visit near Damascus last month, before the suspension of the monitors’ work. (Reuters)

The United Nations monitoring mission in Syria will remain suspended because of the mounting conflict, the head of U.N. peacekeeping told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday.

Diplomats at a closed Security Council meeting quoted Herve Ladsous, U.N. peacekeeping chief, as saying civilians are in “increasing danger” in Syria and “conditions are not conducive to resume operations.”

Ladsous also told the 15-nation council that the Syrian government has barred the unarmed U.N. observer mission from using satellite telephones, a key tool for their work, a diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

The head of the U.N. mission in Syria, General Robert Mood, announced on June 16 that the mission was suspending operations due to the increasing risks to the 300-strong force of military observers, who have been targeted with gunfire and bomb attacks.

Even before the suspension of patrols, Assad’s government had refused to allow the UN mission to have its own helicopters to get around the country.

Syrian activists say more than 15,000 people have died in the 16-month old conflict sparked by protests against Assad.

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