Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to provide troops for the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights after Austria decided to withdraw its soldiers, citing escalating risks from Syria’s civil war.
The United Nations has recruited only half the 300 military observers it needs to staff its unarmed monitoring force in Syria, a cease-fire mission that one Security Council diplomat said is designed to fail.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Russia’s move to ship more attack helicopters to the government in Syria will escalate “quite dramatically” a conflict described by a United Nations official as a civil war.
The United Nations observer mission in Syria will remain suspended until the level of violence declines enough for the monitors to be able to move around the country to carry out their activities, the commander of the operation said.
The United Nations can’t support creation of a proposed “neutral force” to fight rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo until the idea is developed further, according to the head of UN peacekeeping operations, Herve Ladsous.