Monitors ‘buy time’ for Syria
BEIRUTArab League monitors are only giving Syrian authorities more time to crack down on opponents, opposition figures said yesterday after the League opted to keep the mission in place despite Syria’s failure to comply fully with an Arab peace plan.
The observers have so far failed to stop a violent crackdown on protesters. After a meeting in Cairo to review progress, the Arab League said the government had only partly implemented a pledge to stop the repression, free detainees and withdraw troops from cities. It said it would add more monitors to the 165-strong team. “The initial report is too vague, and it essentially buys the regime more time,” said Rima Fleihan, a member of the Syrian National Council. Meanwhile, activists said yesterday that Syrian troops have fired on protesters as Arab League observers toured the area.