UN Ends Syria Mission
Gulf Citizens Told to Flee Lebanon
The United Nations Security Council won’t renew its unarmed observer mission in Syria, conceding it was unable to stem the violence as concerns grew that the country’s conflict was spilling across borders.
The council decided yesterday in New York to let the mandate for the observer team expire, with operations scheduled to “fade out” beginning Aug. 19, French Ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud said. The mission has numbered about 300 unarmed military observers.
The council endorsed a plan by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to open a small political liaison office in Damascus to prepare for a Syria without Bashar al-Assad as president.
Exception, Not Rule
“The UN succeeds at managing crises the strongest powers don’t care much about; it fails at managing crises when the major powers have interests,” said Kori Schake, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution in California and an associate professor of international security studies at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. “Cooperation on international crises is the exception, not the rule.”
More than a million people have been uprooted since fighting began 17 months ago and another million have “urgent humanitarian needs due to the widening impact of the crisis on the economy and people’s livelihoods,” UN humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos told journalists in Damascus yesterday.