January 8th, 2012
04:59 AM ET

Tense Syria awaits outcome of Arab League meeting

Arab League officials are expected to meet in Cairo on Sunday to discuss their Syria mission amid escalating tension and a growing international outcry over the unrest that has killed thousands.

"The option of suspending the monitors' mission is not on the table and the mission will continue as more Arab nations are sending experts to join the mission," the League said Sunday ahead of the meeting. "Tens of monitors arrived from Jordan to Syria yesterday to increase the number on the ground now to 153 monitors in all areas of Syria. "

A senior Arab League official said the group may ask the United Nations for help with the Syrian mission, but not for troops.

The official said the help would be in "training and capacity building." He did not want to be named because he is not authorized to talk to the media.

Early Sunday morning, clashes between government security forces and army defectors killed at least 11 in the village of Basr al-Harir in Daraa, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based opposition group with contacts throughout the country.

The brutal Syrian government crackdown began in mid-March in Daraa. And last week, human rights groups asked the Arab League to initiate action against President Bashar al-Assad's regime. They accused Syria of failing to comply with efforts to end the 10-month-long crackdown.

The Arab League is on a fact-finding mission in the nation, part of a larger initiative to end security forces' attacks on peaceful protesters. Death estimates range between 5,000 to 6,000.

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Filed under: Syria • World
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    The USA should stay out of Syria.

    January 8, 2012 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |

    BUT WE NEED that oil...

    January 8, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Arab League

    Your "monitors" do jack diddly squat. Quit waiting on NATO to volunteer and send in your own troops.

    January 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Clydester

    Look now that a country is fighting its own war lets see how long its going to take for us to get involved in someone elses blood shed we will or are already in fact heavily involved in syria when the time is right the people / we the people will find out how many more will die at war before we realize that we need to just let them fight on there own thin out the population so to say, we need to be observers from point on . Unless someone threatens us directly with attacks than we stand to fight on this land let everybody else wipe each other out!!!

    January 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |