June 16 - UN suspends Syria monitoring due to rising violence. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Gun fire on the streets of Aleppo as citizens run to take cover. Amateur video out of Syria, which could not be independently verified by Reuters shows the escalating violence in a country that some fear is on the brink of civil war. Now the UN is suspending its operations. General Robert Mood is the head of the UN mission in Syria. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GENERAL ROBERT MOOD, HEAD OF U.N. OBSERVER MISSION IN SYRIA, SAYING: "In this high risk situation, UNSMIS is suspending its operations. U.N. observers will not be conducting patrols and will stay in their locations until further notice. While the suspension will be reviewed on a daily basis there are no signs of a let up to the violence. Hundreds of people, including civilians, rebels and government forces, have been killed in the two months since a UN-backed ceasefire was launched that never took hold. Activists say that at least 22 civilians were killed on Saturday alone. The U.S. State Department said Saturday that the sooner a political transition occurs in Syria the higher the odds of preventing a long and bloody civil war. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters