Syria not on track for peace: UN observers' chief
Damascus: Head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) Major General Robert Mood said on Thursday that the situation in Syria is not on track for peace given the escalation of violence over the past days.
"It pains me to say, but we are not on the track for peace in Syria and the escalation of violence we have witnessed in Damascus over the past few days is a testimony to that," Mood said in a statement to reporters before leaving for Geneva.
There is no lasting hope in military option in Syria, he said, hinting at the escalation of military operations over the past four days, especially in the capital Damascus, which has been witnessing what the rebels regarded as "the big battle of Damascus”.
"I, as a soldier, know more than many that the decision in favour of peace is harder than that of war," Mood said, adding that "it is the fabric of a society that will be deeply damaged by war, and greatly enhanced by the prevalence of peace”.
Mood said the government and opposition must make concession, otherwise the there will be days of suffering for Syrians.
The UNSMIS mandate ends on July 20. Russia has proposed the extension of the mission for another three months.
Mood said the mandate of UNSMIS will become relevant when the political process takes off. "That is why any extension of the mission would come with a shift to a more political posture."
He said it is the UN Security Council that decides the fate of UNSMIS and the UN political and military presence in Syria. "It is no secret that its members are divided on what actions are needed to end the killing and begin a political transition process."
For the sake of the Syrian People, "we need the effective leadership from the Security Council and genuine unity around a political plan that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people and that is accepted by the parties," Mood said.