U.N. Observer Leader in Syria Says His Team Is Imperiled
Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, the head of the United Nations observer mission in Syria, presented a gloomy assessment of its prospects on Friday, even as the government and its opposition accused each other of fomenting bloodshed around the weekly Muslim prayer services.
“Violence over the past 10 days has been intensifying willingly by both parties, with losses on both sides and significant risks to our observers,” General Mood, the Norwegian head of the unarmed observers, said at a news conference in Damascus.
His remarks came two months after the Security Council authorized the deployment of the monitoring group for 90 days, and he warned that the looming assessment on whether to continue could well be negative. The cease-fire is considered the first goal in a six-point peace plan designed to lead to a political dialogue between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and his opponents.
‘There appears to be a lack of willingness to seek a peaceful transition,’ General Mood said. ‘Instead, there is a push toward advancing military positions.’ Those paying the price are Syrians, who in some cases have been trapped by the violence, he said.