Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Syria observer chief says violence derails mission

RECOMMENDED READING


BEIRUT, Lebanon — The head of the U.N. observers in Syria said Friday a spike in bloodshed is derailing the mission to monitor and defuse more than a year of violence, raising questions about how effective the unarmed force can be in a conflict that every day looks more like a civil war.

The troubles facing the observer mission are the latest sign that an international peace plan for Syria is disintegrating. Western powers have pinned their hopes on the plan, brokered two months ago by special envoy Kofi Annan, in part because there are no other options on the table. There is little support for military intervention, and several rounds of sanctions have failed to stop the bloodshed.

"Violence over the past 10 days has been intensifying willingly by the both parties, with losses on both sides and significant risks to our observers," Maj. Gen. Robert Mood told reporters in Damascus, the Syrian capital.

Mood also said there was a concern among the states providing observers that the risk is approaching an unacceptable level — suggesting the violence could prompt the nearly 300 observers to pull out of the country at some point. He did not provide further details.

Mood's comments were the latest sign that Annan's peace plan is falling apart. The regime and the opposition have ignored a cease-fire that was supposed to go into effect April 12.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights called on the observers to "either work on stopping the killings or leave." The group said the observers' role has become to "witness the killing in Syria" rather than implement Annan's six-point plan.

On Friday, the Syrian regime kept up a ferocious offensive on rebel areas around the country in one of the most serious escalations in violence since Annan brokered the nominal truce.

Nationwide, at least 28 people were reported killed when security forces opened fire on protests, according to activists. That toll could not be independently verified.

Comments
McCoy is only Bucs player in Pro Bowl voting top 10s

McCoy is only Bucs player in Pro Bowl voting top 10s

The Bucs aren't faring well in early Pro Bowl fan voting, with DT Gerald McCoy as the only Tampa Bay player ranking in the top 10 at his position.McCoy, seeking his sixth straight Pro Bowl selection, ranks seventh among NFL defensive tackles, one wee...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Dost scores in each half as Sporting beats Olympiakos 3-1

Dost scores in each half as Sporting beats Olympiakos 3-1

Bas Dost scored a goal in each half to lead Sporting Lisbon to a 3-1 win over Olympiakos in the Champions League
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Tampa husband gets life, wife 40 years for sexual assault on 7-year-old

Tampa husband gets life, wife 40 years for sexual assault on 7-year-old

TAMPA ó The mother of a 7-year-old girl stood weeping in a federal courtroom, demanding life-long prison sentences for the Tampa couple who sexually assaulted her daughter while the girlís own father took videos and pictures. "I donít want my child t...
Updated: 11 minutes ago

No. 25 Boise St. visits Fresno St. in title game preview

No. 25 Boise State travels to Fresno State for a preview of next week's Mountain West title game
Updated: 12 minutes ago

Sheriff admits sending sexually explicit photo in uniform

The president of the Maine Sheriffs' Association has been ousted after a sexually explicit photograph of him in uniform in his office surfaced
Updated: 12 minutes ago

Steelers backup lineman Hubbard ready for full-time audition

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Chris Hubbard says he's more than ready to fill in while starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert
Updated: 13 minutes ago

Judge: Lawsuit challenging Keystone pipeline can continue

A federal judge has dismissed a bid by the Trump administration to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a presidential permit for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Atletico beats Roma 2-0 to stay alive in Champions League

Atletico beats Roma 2-0 to stay alive in Champions League

Atletico Madrid defeats Roma 2-0 to keep alive hopes of advancing in the Champions League
Updated: 15 minutes ago
The Chip Kelly Watch goes on

The Chip Kelly Watch goes on

The Chip Kelly Watch continues.Kelly, the former Oregon coach, met with UCLA on Tuesday, according to multiple media outlets. That's not a surprise; Kelly and the Bruins would make a lot of sense together. That also doesn't mean that Florida is out o...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
What happens once 'net neutrality' rules bite the dust?

What happens once 'net neutrality' rules bite the dust?

With 'net neutrality' rules scheduled for termination, here's what could happen next
Updated: 17 minutes ago