World Bulletin / News Desk
Major General Robert Mood left his hotel in Damascus on Thursday to fly to Geneva after a 90-day U.N. peace monitoring mission to Syria ended, even as battles between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebels raged in parts of the capital.
The observers' mandate ends on Friday, but the United Nations' 15-nation Security Council is set to decide later on Thursday whether it should be extended for 45 days.
"I leave satisfied that I, and some 400 brave women and men, have done our best, under very challenging circumstances," Mood, who led the U.N. mission, told a news conference in the Dama Rose hotel.
"For the sake of the Syrian people we need 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.
"Government and opposition must be willing to make the necessary concessions and sit at the negotiating table," he added, saying there was no hope for the crisis to be resolved through fighting.
Separately, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday he was alarmed by the intensifying violence in Syria, saying he strongly condemned the bombing in Damascus on Wednesday that killed the Syrian defence minister and President Assad's brother-in-law.
Mood's farewell speech came as the U.N. Security Council was preparing to vote later on Thursday on a Western-backed resolution that threatens Syrian authorities with sanctions and is aimed at ending the 16-month conflict.
Russia, a key ally of Syria, has refused to engage in negotiations on the resolution that would extend the U.N. observer mission in Syria for 45 days and place envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, diplomats say.
U.N. monitors, who have been unable to halt the violence, suspended patrols in June after repeated attacks on convoys.
An Egyptian court has adjourned the Hamas lawsuit case until June 6.
Reports are coming in with witnesses saying that ISIL has raised their flag over Palmyra
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has denounced the bombing of worshippers by an ISIL-linked group.
Shi'ite forces have been deployed west of Ramadi heading towards areas controlled by ISIL.
Egyptian protesters have protested the Morsi death sentence and are seeking justice against 'politically-motivated', 'flawed' trial.
The IDF has been quick to sentence one of their own soldiers for taking part in a Deutsche Welle programme that debated whether the occupation of Palestine was destroying Israel.
An Iranian aid ship that was on its way to Yemen has docked in Djibouti where it will undergo a UN inspection.
A bomb has exploded at a mosque in Saudi Arabia, with reports of injured.
Yemeni army forces have taken control of a strategic military base in Saudi Arabia, as Riyadh continues its military aggression against Yemen.
ISIL has claimed responsibility in a mosque attack in Yemen, 13 people were wounded.
Jordan has said said that the problems of the Middle East can be solved by using the strengths of the countries in the region.
The Houthi forces have placed a condition that they will join the Geneva meeting later this month on the condition that there is ceasefire by the Saudi's.
ISIL has seized the last border crossing between Syria and Iraq, taking over more than 50% of Syria.
Saudi shells hit Yemen international aid office, killing 5 Ethiopian refugees.