They've been pushed around, shot at and ignored for four months and now they're finally calling it quits. On Monday, the United Nation's observer mission in Syria pulled out of the country citing the escalating violence. "Both parties have obligations under international humanitarian law to make sure that civilians are protected," said General Babacar Gaye, head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, said at a press conference in Damascus. "These obligations have not been respected." By now, the U.N. mission observers have been reduced to spectators as rebels and security forces have categorically ignored the ceasefire agreement outlined by special envoy Kofi Annan, who announced his resignation earlier this month. (He was recently replaced by Lakhdar Brahimi.) It hasn't helped that world powers in the U.N. Security Council have failed to reach agreement on a path forward for the U.N. (China and Russia haverepeatedly vetoed resolutions to clamp down on President Bashar al-Assad). As a result, the observer mission's mandate expired at midnight.
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