The head of UN observers in Syria, General Robert Mood, said Saturday that the UN mission suspended its operations and patrols because of the increased violence in the country. General Mood said, in a statement, that violence posed significant risks for observers and prevented them from fulfilling their mandate.
The observers will carry out no patrols "until further notice," he added. This interruption of their activities will be reviewed daily.
Meanwhile, Syrian forces bombed the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, killing at least 12 people, reported Saturday the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
Eight of the victims were killed in Douma, a suburb of Damascus, where the regime's forces fired mortar shells that hit a residential building, said the same source. The other four people, including three from the same family, were killed in Tel Arbin, according to Mohammed Said, an opposition activist there.
The official new agency SANA has reported that the military had dismantled dens of armed groups and killed an unspecified number of "terrorists", the term used by the regime to activists of the insurgency.