Violence in Syria causes the UN to suspend patrols

Posted at 9:46 PM, Jun 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-16 22:00:13-04

NEW YORK (CBS) - The United Nations suspended their patrols in Syria due to the escalating violence, but they will stay in Damascus until it's safe for unarmed observers to resume working.

The UN says the violence over the past 10 days makes it hard for 300 watchers to carry out their duty.  Last week, there were roadside bombs that damaged several vehicles and shots fired at a UN convoy filled with observers.

Observers were sent to Syria after UN envoy Kofi Annan started a cease fire that neither the rebels or government troops approved of.  However, they spend most of their time verifying government attacks on civilians.  More than 100 people were killed in one town, most of them women and children.

Those who oppose the violence are now urging the UN Security Council to take action.  Some are also asking for the military to intervene.

Burham Ghalioun, Political Bureau Chief of the Syrian National Council, says he thinks it's time to say that the whole initiative of Mr. Annan has failed.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad blames the violence on terriorists and faces international pressure to step down.

The UN says Syrian forces have killed about 10,000 people in a crackdown on protests.