Commander of the Syria Free Army, Riad Al Asaad, declared that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad would be forced out of power by militarily means, Al Jazeera reported Friday. Asaad - who heads the militia of some 15,000 supposed army defectors - called on Arab League observers to leave the country in light of the "failure of their mission," after Arab government sources said Thursday the monitors would remain in Syria to ensure Damascus's compliance with the body's peace plan. RELATED:Syrian rebels raid military checkpointsArab body says monitors should quit Syria promptlyMeanwhile, Syrian opposition groups said that at least 31 people were shot dead by Syrian government forces in cities and towns across the country Thursday, Al Jazeera reported. 13 of the deaths occurred in the northeastern city of Deir ez-Zor. A Syrian confederation of opposition groups said an additional six died in Homs, including one woman, six in Deraa, four in the Damascus area, including one soldier, and one in Idlib and coastal Latakia. Gunshots were heard as activists took to the streets in Damascus to "greet Arab [League] observers," Al Jazeera reported.Assad blamed the bombing on terrorists linked to al-Qaida plotting his overthrow. Some opposition groups said the Syrian government staged the bombing itself to undermineopposition efforts as the conflict between pro-government and anti-government elements approaches the year mark. Foreign journalists are generally barred from entry to Syria, so the information in this report cannot be independently verified by The Jerusalem Post.Arab government sources said Thursday that observers will remain in Syria to monitor the government’s compliance with an Arab League peace plan despite criticism from Qatar’s prime minister they had made “mistakes.”Damascus, keen to show it is respecting a peace accord, said it had released a further 552 people detained during the revolt against Assad “whose hands were not stained with blood.”
Three people were gunned down in that protest in the nation's capital, and an unidentified number were injured, according to the report.Earlier this month, 44 people were killed in the bloodiest single attack to hit Damascus, just as Arab monitors arrived in the country.