Syria protest, Paris - AP - March 15, 2012
Protesters holding Syria flags shout slogans during a rally to support the Syrian people on the first anniversary of the Syrian uprising, in front of Paris City hall in Paris, March 15, 2012. Photo by AP
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Four members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will close their embassies in Syria over its violent crackdown on popular protests against President Bashar Assad, the Saudi Press Agency reported late on Thursday.

GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani, in a statement, was quoted as saying the move demonstrated a rejection of "the Syrian regime's continuing killing and tormenting of the unarmed Syrian people, its insistence on the military option and ignoring all efforts for a way out of the tragic situation lived by the brotherly Syrian people.”

The closures come after Saudi Arabia and Bahrain announced that their missions to Syria would be shuttered.

Earlier on Thursday, UN aid chief Valerie Amos said that a joint team of Syrian, UN and Organization of Islamic Cooperation staff will begin visiting besieged Syrian towns this weekend to assess the humanitarian situation.

The mission will be led by the Syrian government and the team would "gather information on the overall humanitarian situation and observe first-hand the conditions in various towns and cities," Amos said in a statement.

"I repeat my calls to the government of Syria to allow humanitarian organizations unhindered access, so that they can help people in need, in a neutral and impartial manner," she said.