International patience 'exhausted' over Syria

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International patience 'exhausted' over Syria

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Fresh violence in several cities across Syria appears to have stretched international patience to the limit.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has directly accused Damascus of breaking its pledge to withdraw heavy weapons and troops under the terms of a two-week-old ceasefire.

And with more civilian deaths the presence of UN observers is being questioned.

“ The United States’ patience is exhausted and we are going to be watching very carefully to determine if this observer mission is having the impact that we all hoped it would, even if our expectations were low,” warned US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice.

The Arab League is calling for more hardline action against President Bashar al Assad’s regime. It has however, fallen short of recommending a UN chapter 7 resolution which can authorise anything from sanctions to military intervention.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby explained why: “ Chapter 7 does not necessarily mean the use of force, it means the issuing of a binding decision for the Syrian government. It is however, easy to say and to write in words, but will it pass through the Security Council?”

Syria ally Russia is unlikely to back a tougher UN resolution. Although admitting the truce seems to be failing Moscow also accuses Syrian opposition groups of shifting to tactics of terror.