Doubt hangs over Arab monitoring mission in Syria

January 12, 2012 13:10

BEIRUT - Several Arab League monitors have left Syria or may do so soon because the mission has failed to halt Syrian President Bashar Assad's violent crackdown on a popular revolt against his rule, an Algerian former monitor said on Thursday.

Syrian opposition groups say the monitors, who deployed on Dec. 26 to check whether Syria was respecting an Arab peace plan, have only bought Assad more time to crush protests that erupted in March, inspired by Arab uprisings elsewhere.

Anwar Malek, an Algerian who quit the monitoring team this week, said many of his former colleagues shared his chagrin.

"I cannot specify a number, but many. When you talk to them their anger is clear," he told Reuters by telephone, adding that many could not leave because of orders from their governments.

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