Violence in Syria continues to escalate as the military intensify assaults on civilian centres and rebels concentrate attacks on government forces. As the UN struggles to carry out their observation mission, Free Syrian Army rebels withdrew from Haffeh, between Homs and Latakia, saying that several thousand civilians remained trapped in the city, besieged and bombarded by regime forces using heavy field artillery. Fears are growing that the government is planning massacres in the area, which is mainly Sunni Muslim.
Sausan Ghosheh, the UN peacekeeping mission spokesperson, said: “UN observers trying to reach the town of al-Haffeh today were confronted with angry crowds that surrounded their vehicles, stopping them from proceeding any further. The crowd, who appeared to be residents of the area, then hurled stones and metal rods at the UN vehicles. The UN observers turned back.”
As violence increases across the country, the UN peacekeeping chief admitted that the conflict has now become a fully-fledged civil war. He went on to say that the role of the UN’s peace-keeping observers in Syria had become of limited relevance since there is no peace to observe.