Arab League observers set to arrive in Damascus

Arab League observers set to arrive in Damascus

PanARMENIAN.Net - Monitors from the Arab League are due to arrive in Syria under an initiative aimed at ending the violent crackdown on anti-government protests.

An advance party of about 30 Arab League observers, accompanied by members of the media, will arrive in Syria on Thursday, Dec 22 to prepare for the arrival of the full delegation, which will have a one-month mandate that can be extended by another month if both sides agree.

Another group of observers is due in Syria on Sunday, and the mission is expected to be 150-strong when complete.

They will oversee Syria's compliance with the Arab League initiative, which calls for attacks to stop, troops to withdraw from the streets and detained protesters to be freed.

Damascus's decision to admit them was announced on Monday, after weeks of delays.

The UN says some 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since protests began in March but right groups say the figure is much higher. Damascus blames the unrest on "armed gangs" seeking to destabilise Syria, according to BBC News.

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