Damascus: Members of the UN Supervision Mission to Syria (UNSMIS) on Sunday started leaving the unrest-hit country, Xinhua reported.
As their mission officially was set to expire on Sunday midnight, six observers left Syria on Sunday and headed to Lebanese capital Beirut. By August 23, the rest should all be gone, sources said.
Seven military observers and five civilian ones will stay in Syria to run the new political office whose establishment was agreed upon Thursday at a UN Security Council meeting.
The UN observer mission started in April.
The UN Security Council also appointed Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi as the new special envoy to Syria, replacing Kofi Annan.