UN ends Syria mission as Aleppo under renewed attack
AAZAZ, Syria (AFP) - The United Nations (UN) called an end to its observer mission in Syria on Thursday, while activists reported more bloodletting in an attack on civilians in the main battleground of Aleppo.
The UN decision was announced as the international community piled the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad's embattled regime to end 17 months of fighting that is now threatening to entangle neighbouring Lebanon.
"The conditions to continue UNSMIS were not fulfilled," France's UN ambassador Gerard Araud said after a New York meeting on the conflict, referring to the mission whose mandate is due to end at midnight on Sunday.
Major powers have long been at odds how to end the increasingly brutal battle for Syria, and the withdrawal of the observers follows the collapse of a peace plan drawn up by outgoing peace envoy Kofi Annan.