Analysis

Syria: Rebels Riled by Arab League Observer Claims
Image from YouTube image uploaded on January 4 of Arab League observers meeting with Syrian officials
January 4, 2012
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
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Reports by Arab League observers that the Assad regime is cooperating with its peace plan have been disputed by the Syrian rebels and by the West. The observers have in fact undermined efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict and have necessitated action by the UN Security Council.

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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