BEIRUT - An Arab League observer has left Syria, saying he had witnessed "scenes of horror" that he was powerless to prevent and that the Arab monitoring team sent to the country was not acting independently.
"I withdrew because I found myself serving the (Syrian) regime," Anwar Malek told Al Jazeera television, still wearing the orange vest used by the Arab monitors.
"How was I serving the regime? I was giving the regime a greater chance to continue its killing and I could not prevent that," the Algerian said in an interview at Al Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar.
The Arab League monitoring mission, now about 165 strong, began work on December 26. Its task is to verify if Syria is complying with an agreement to halt a crackdown on 10 months of protests against Syrian President Bashar Assad in which the United Nations says more than 5,000 people have been killed.