70. The purpose of the Protocol is to protect Syrian citizens through the commitment of the Syrian
Government to stop acts of violence, release detainees and withdraw all military presence from cities and
residential neighbourhoods. This phase must lead to dialogue among the Syrian sides and the launching of a
parallel political process. Otherwise, the duration of this Mission will be extended without achieving the
desired results on the ground.
71. The Mission determined that there is an armed entity that is not mentioned in the protocol. This
development on the ground can undoubtedly be attributed to the excessive use of force by Syrian Government
forces in response to protests that occurred before the deployment of the Mission demanding the fall of the
regime. In some zones, this armed entity reacted by attacking Syrian security forces and citizens, causing the
Government to respond with further violence. In the end, innocent citizens pay the price for those actions with
life and limb.
72. The Mission noted that the opposition had welcomed it and its members since their deployment to
Syria. The citizens were reassured by the Mission’s presence and came forward to present their demands,
although the opposition had previously been afraid to do so publicly owing to their fear of being arrested once
again, as they had been prior to the Mission’s arrival in Syria. However, this was not case in the period that
followed the last Ministerial Committee statement, although the situation is gradually improving.
73. The Mission noted that the Government strived to help it succeed in its task and remove any barriers
that might stand in its way. The Government also facilitated meetings with all parties. No restrictions were
placed on the movement of the Mission and its ability to interview Syrian citizens, both those who opposed the
Government and those loyal to it.
74. In some cities, the Mission sensed the extreme tension, oppression and injustice from which the Syrian
people are suffering. However, the citizens believe the crisis should be resolved peacefully through Arab
mediation alone, without international intervention. Doing so would allow them to live in peace and complete
the reform process and bring about the change they desire. The Mission was informed by the opposition,
particularly in Dar‘a, Homs, Hama and Idlib, that some of its members had taken up arms in response to the
suffering of the Syrian people as a result of the regime’s oppression and tyranny; corruption, which affects all
sectors of society; the use of torture by the security agencies; and human rights violations.
75. Recently, there have been incidents that could widen the gap and increase bitterness between the
parties. These incidents can have grave consequences and lead to the loss of life and property. Such incidents
include the bombing of buildings, trains carrying fuel, vehicles carrying diesel oil and explosions targeting the
police, members of the media and fuel pipelines. Some of those attacks have been carried out by the Free
Syrian Army and some by other armed opposition groups.
76. The Mission has adhered scrupulously to its mandate, as set out in the Protocol. It has observed daily
realities on the ground with complete neutrality and independence, thereby ensuring transparency and integrity
in its monitoring of the situation, despite the difficulties the Mission encountered and the inappropriate actions
of some individuals.
77. Under the Protocol, the Mission’s mandate is one month. This does not allow adequate time for
administrative preparations, let alone for the Mission to carry out its task. To date, the Mission has actually
operated for 23 days. This amount of time is definitely not sufficient, particularly in view of the number of
items the Mission must investigate. The Mission needs to remain on the ground for a longer period of time,
which would allow it to experience citizens’ daily living conditions and monitor all events. It should be noted
that similar previous operations lasted for several months or, in some cases, several years.
78. Arab and foreign audiences of certain media organizations have questioned the Mission’s credibility
because those organizations use the media to distort the facts. It will be difficult to overcome this problem
unless there is political and media support for the Mission and its mandate. It is only natural that some negative
incidents should occur as it conducts its activities because such incidents occur as a matter of course in similar
79. The Mission arrived in Syria after the imposition of sanctions aimed at compelling to implement what
was agreed to in the Protocol. Despite that, the Mission was welcomed by the opposition, loyalists and the
Government. Nonetheless, questions remains as to how the Mission should fulfil its mandate. It should be
noted that the mandate established for the Mission in the Protocol was changed in response to developments on
the ground and the reactions thereto. Some of those were violent reactions by entities that were not mentioned
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in the Protocol. All of these developments necessitated an expansion of and a change in the Mission’s mandate.
The most important point in this regard is the commitment of all sides to cease all acts of violence, thereby
allowing the Mission to complete its tasks and, ultimately, lay the groundwork for the political process.
80. Should there be agreement to extend its mandate, then the Mission must be provided with
communications equipment, means of transportation and all the equipment it requires to carry out its mandate
on the ground.
81. On the other hand, ending the Mission’s work after such a short period will reverse any progress, even
if partial, that has thus far been made. This could perhaps lead to chaos on the ground because all the parties
involved in the crisis thus remain unprepared for the political process required to resolve the Syrian crisis.
82. Since its establishment, attitudes towards the Mission have been characterized by insincerity or, more
broadly speaking, a lack of seriousness. Before it began carrying out its mandate and even before its members
had arrived, the Mission was the target of a vicious campaign directed against the League of Arab States and
the Head of the Mission, a campaign that increased in intensity after the observers’ deployment. The Mission
still lack the political and media support it needs in order to fulfil its mandate. Should its mandate be extended,
the goals set out in the Protocol will not be achieved unless such support is provided and the Mission receives
the backing it needs to ensure the success of the Arab solution.
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