DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Head of the UN observer mission to Syria, Gen. Robert Mood said "the escalating violence is now limiting our ability to observe, verify, report as well as assist in local dialogue and stability projects."
In a press conference in Damascus on Friday, Mood said that the plan of the UN envoy to Syria Kofi Annan belongs to the Syrian parties that have accepted it and the international community that has endorsed it, and that there's no alternative for it so far.
Mood said that violence has been intensifying over the past ten days with significant risks to the observers, adding that "the Syrian population, including civilians, are suffering and in some locations, civilians have been trapped by violent ongoing operations."
He said that the observer mission is not static mission; rather it can be developed, and that the Security Council is set to discuss the mission's future in the coming days and weeks, adding" it is important that the parties give this mission a chance and the international community gives this mission a role that best serves the aspirations of the Syrian people."
Answering journalists' questions, Mood said that the deployment of observers in Syria in record time couldn't have happened without the facilitations provided by the Syrian government, and that the mission saw encouraging indicators and steps regarding the Syrian government, such as the release of detained individuals and a larger presence or journalists.
He said that the mission's greatest problem is the escalating violence, voicing sorrow over the suffering of civilians and at the same time pride over the sentiments of reconciliation among Syrians, saying that this "affirms to those who don't know Syria from within that Syrians are proud of their identity, history, hospitality and secularism."
Mood said that the mission's task is to verify facts and report about the situation on the ground, saying that what they saw was "attacks by armed opposition on official buildings, government checkpoints… and on the government's side, the deployment of artillery, mortars and military formation in what me be called a classic use."
He said that the level of violence is approaching the point of being unacceptable, which makes the mission's future in the hands of the Security Council, adding that the Syrian opposition abroad isn't evolving into a mature organization or entity that has credibility within Syria.
Regarding the events in al-Houla, Mood said that the mission gathered the available information, evidence, statements and eyewitness accounts and referred them to the UN, but the conditions that led to these events remain unknown.
On the presence of multiple agendas that various sides seek to accomplish through the Syrian crisis, Mood said that such a thing isn't surprising and that there are many agendas belonging to countries and other entities, voicing conviction that there are many agendas that make the Syrian crisis more complicated.
He pointed out that the Damascus bombings were very sophisticated in terms of planning and equipment, which caused the mission to reach the conclusion that these bombings couldn't have happened without the involvement of a third party.
Mood called upon those who feed violence in Syria through smuggling weapons and other means to cease their actions, since more weapons will have negative repercussions.
On whether the mission needs more observers, authorization and weapons, Mood said that there are talks regarding the nature of the mission's task and its continuation, and that this matter is ultimately up to the sides who approved the six point plan, and not to the mission itself.
Mood concluded by saying that journalists are facing dangers and challenges in their efforts to help build and clarify the full and true images of what is happening.
The United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria was established by Security Council resolution 2043 , comprised of up to 300 unarmed military observers. The mission started its works on April 29th and was set up for an initial 90-day period.
R. Raslan/ H. Said / H. Sabbagh