December 29th, 2011
02:09 AM ET

Arab League monitors head to Syrian opposition stronghold

A fact-finding team is expected to travel Thursday to the Syrian opposition stronghold of Daraa where it will monitor an Arab League initiative that calls for President Bashar al-Assad's security forces to end a violent crackdown on anti-government groups.

The trip follows mounting criticism from opposition groups over the selection of a Sudanese military commander as the team head because of his government's actions in the embattled Darfur region. The groups say the choice of Lt. Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi taints the Arab League's efforts in Syria.

"The appointment of al-Dabi taints the Arab League's efforts and characterizes it as nothing more than a political farce, causing little help but much harm to the situation in Syria," said a statement from the Doctors Local Committee in Damascus, a group opposed to al-Assad's government.

"It would be more appropriate, in our view, in the circumstances of the current conflict, for the United Nations to be mandated to conduct the monitoring mission."

The Arab League has dismissed the complaints out of hand, with one official - speaking on condition of anonymity - saying the claims against al-Dabi "come with no evidence."

The Arab League initiative, which was agreed to this month by al-Assad, calls for Syrian security forces to withdraw from cities, release detainees and end violence.

As part of that effort, the monitors are also expected to travel Thursday to the cities of Idlib, Hama and the capital city of Damascus, according to the Arab League official.

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Filed under: Syria • World
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    Print this "news" in Syria and all interested Arab countries, CNN.
    Opposition to the Syrian government is not the business of the United States of America.
    Let the dead bury the dead.

    December 29, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    "A fact-finding team?"
    The facts are known: rebels want to overthrow the government of a nation. Those are the "facts."
    Anything "found" by this "team" will be insufficient to cause me to advocate USA support of the overthrow of the Syrian government.
    Beyond that, "facts" found will certainly not convince me to advocate or even support the USA's going to war to overthrow the government of Syria.

    December 29, 2011 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    The administration of the USA should solve its own substantial problems at home, and CNN should stop trying to stir up support of Syrian rebels under the guise of "fact finding" and "humanitarian" concern.

    December 29, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. Andreas Moser

    Death to the dictator!

    December 29, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    Go kill government officials yourself.
    I'm not interested.

    December 29, 2011 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lianne

    *Friends

    December 29, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lianne

    We should send CNN to defend the people who are against bashar....Cnn we dont careeeeeeeeeee if ur friends with saudi arabiaaaaaa ...Its embarassing n ur losing viewers especially when u talk bad about Russia and China...

    December 29, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. Lianne

    No one hates Dr. Bashar ...so basically all im saying is...stop the bs

    December 29, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. bigwilliestyles

    Iran. Hypocrisy stinks.

    December 30, 2011 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |