Syrian opposition movement groups are outraged at reports by an Arab League observer mission in Syria that President Bashar al-Assad’s government has taken steps to comply with its peace plan by withdrawing troops and tanks from cities and releasing almost 3,500 prisoners. Opposition forces and human rights activists disputed the mission’s statements, claiming that it has made no progress in halting violence and is providing Assad with political cover to continue the crackdown and stay in power. In response to the mission’s findings, a Syrian opposition leader threatened to increase attacks against government forces. The Arab League will hold an emergency meeting on January 7 to discuss the observer mission’s initial report and the situation in Syria.
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