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.
Mohammed Dahlan was used a a go-between with US based preacher Fetullah Gülen, who is accused of plotting the coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a foreign leader writer for the Guardian said.
Netanyahu will send General Yaakov Nagel in order to secure a massive security deal worth nearly $40 billion
A Giza criminal court sentenced on Saturday 13 people to death in after a retrial
Bus carrying families to wedding celebration was washed away by flash flood in northwestern Pakistan
OIC's Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission denounces coup bid against Turkey's democratically elected government
17 others injured in clashes, bomb attack near market place in Taz province
Dozens killed and wounded in Daesh attack denied medicines by Syrian wing of terrorist PKK
Strikes hit three separate neighborhoods in Aleppo
Abdullah Ghaleb Barghouti sends letter praising Turkish people's efforts against deadly coup attempt
The number of casualties was not immediately known
Medics injured, medical equipment destroyed as Russian warplanes strike opposition-held city in Idlib province
Pro-regime forces have surrounded Aleppo's eastern districts since July 17, sparking fears for an estimated 250,000 people who live there.
Syrian Al-Nusra Front vows to now continue fighting as 'Conquest of Damascus Front'
EU calls for urgent pause in fighting in eastern Syrian city Aleppo to deliver medical aid
US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen’s FETO terrorist group is believed to have orchestrated Turkey's failed July 15 coup bid
Russia's defence ministry has announced a large scale humanitarian aid op with corridors created for resident to be able to leave the city