McClatchy’s: ‘Syrian ‘rebels’ viewed the UN observers as spies & collaborators with the government…’
“… “All they do is come to count the bodies,” was a common refrain from rebels and anti-government activists in central Syria in June as the U.N. monitors documented grisly slayings that they said were carried out by the Syrian army and pro-government militias.The end of the mission comes just days after a bombing in Damascus near the Dama Rose Hotel, where some of the remaining members of the estimated 300-member U.N. observer team were staying.
While rebels said Wednesday’s blast was meant to target a nearby Syrian military installation, it’s clear that many in the opposition view the observers as collaborators with the government rather than brokers or observers of a truce. …… At times, even when Syrian government representatives were not present, residents of areas with open rebel sympathies often expressed the belief that the monitors were spies.
“I think it is unfortunate that we are losing the visibility that the observers provided,” said Daniel Serwer, a professor of international studies at Johns Hopkins University and a scholar at the Middle East Institute….
“The big risk for the United States is that the instability spreads and becomes more and more sectarian and ethnic,” Serwer said. “We have to keep our eye on that, and I think that argues for giving Brahimi more support than we gave to Annan.”…”
Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/08/17/162683/with-uns-exit-syria-becomes-more.html#storylink…”