Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images.
Kofi Annan won't be heading the U.N.'s effort to end the Syrian conflict for very much longer. On Thursday, the U.N. announced that he'll leave his post when the current mandate expires at the end of August.
Annan's six-point plan to end what is now considered to be a civil war in Syria never really got off the ground as both Syrian forces and armed rebel groups escalated fighting in the country despite an agreed-upon cease fire this past spring. According to the BBC, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that Annan deserves "our profound admiration for the selfless way in which he has put his formidable skills and prestige to this most difficult and potentially thankless of assignments." The U.N. is looking for someone to replace Annan in the role.
Reuters reports the Annan blamed "finger pointing and name calling" within the U.N. Security Council for his resignation. Russia has consistently backed Syria in voting against Council resolutions that would call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's removal from power.
The 17-month conflict has claimed as many as 20,000 lives in the country, according to activists. Syrian troops and rebels are currently battling in Aleppo, the country's second-largest city. Rebels captured a Syrian tank and used it to attack a military airbase as Syrian troops attacked the Salaheddine district in Aleppo, Reuters reports.