- Head of UN observer mission in Syria, Major General Robert Mood, says the monitoring team is "suspending its activities" in the country due to an "intensification of armed violence."
"There has been an intensification of armed violence across Syria over the past 10 days," the Norwegian general said in a statement issued on Saturday.
"The lack of willingness by the parties to seek a peaceful transition, and the push towards advancing military positions is increasing the losses on both sides: innocent civilians, men, women and children are being killed every day."
"It is also posing significant risks to our observers," Mood added.
"In this high risk situation, UNSMIS (United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria) is suspending its activities."
The first team of UN observers arrived in Syria on April 15 to monitor a ceasefire that took effect three days earlier and was part of a six-point peace plan brokered by UN-Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan.
However, sporadic attacks by armed groups fighting against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad government continue despite the presence of UN monitors.
"This escalation is limiting our ability to observe, verify, report as well as assist in local dialogue and stability projects -- basically impeding our ability to carry out our mandate," Mood stated.
"The observers will not conduct patrols and will stay in their locations until further notice."
The UN military official also said that the observer's "operations will resume when we see the situation fit for us to carry out our mandated activities."
The Saturday statement comes a few days after the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on June 13 that the country is experiencing a war against the "armed groups which chose terrorism as their way to achieve their objectives and conspire against the present and future of the Syrian people."
On June 3, President Assad said, "Standing up against the conspiracy is not easy, but we will overcome the obstacles."
The anti-Syria Western governments and the opposition blame Damascus for the past months of turmoil in the Arab country. However, the Syrian government has repeatedly said foreign-sponsored "saboteurs and terrorists" are responsible for the deadly unrest which has resulted in the death of many people, including Syrian security forces.