(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- The decision by the United Nations to suspend its observer mission in Syria because of safety concerns has angered opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Initially, the monitors were sent in to check on the implementation of the six-point ceasefire crafted by special emissary Kofi Annan. However, the failure of the plan to be carried out, particularly by government forces, left Gen. Robert Mood, who heads the U.N. supervision mission in Syria, no other recourse but to pull the observers out of the country.
In response to the move, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said in a statement, "The decision of the U.N. supervision mission in Syria to suspend the monitoring mission represents a failure of...the international community to effectively and responsibly deal with the situation in Syria."
Furthermore, the LCC said that the suspension suggests the U.N. has no backup plan, which "allows for more bloodshed and enables the regime to buy more time under international cover."
Al-Assad's government contends that the ceasefire didn't work because of "armed terrorist groups" bent on disrupting his nation's social order.
The crackdown on political dissidents began in March 2011 and by estimates of Syrian opposition groups, anywhere between 12,000 and 14,000 people have died in the fighting.
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