U.N. Suspends Syria Observer Activities

With both Bashar al-Assad’s forces and Syrian rebels stepping up their attacks, the U.N. team assigned to observe the crisis there ceased its activities, including patrols. “Violence over the past 10 days has been intensifying willingly by both parties, with losses on both sides and significant risks to our observers,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, the head of the mission. Earlier this month, rebels withdrew from a ceasefire — largely ignored by the government — put in place by former U.N. Secretary-General Koffi Annan’s faltering peace plan.