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8 Jan, 2012 19:21

Arab League Syria mission to linger despite barrage of criticism

Arab League observers have delivered their initial report on the ongoing crisis in Syria. And despite the monitors’ failure to put an end to the bloodshed, the mission has been green-lighted to continue.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil el-Araby said observers will carry on with their month-long mission in spite of claims by activists that the mission is giving cover to President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on protesters and delaying further action from being taken.Hundreds of civilians have reportedly been killed by government troops since the first observers arrived last month, and on Friday, dozens died in a Damascus suicide bombing the regime is blaming on terrorists. Though Syria’s membership is currently suspended from the League, observers were part of a peace plan it proposed – along with the government’s withdrawal of troops from major cities and a dialogue with the opposition. The regional organization has also demanded an end to violence – something that, despite various efforts, is still not happening in Syria. Political analyst Sara Marusek from Syracuse University in Beirut told RT that it is not yet time for intervention from organizations like the United Nations, and that criticisms of the Arab League monitors as futile are premature. “There is violence on both sides,” Marusek said. “And the realities on the ground need to be reflected by the Arab League observers. And unless they have time to see both sides of the story, we’re not going to know how best to solve this conflict.” The League also must turn a blind eye to “international pressure coming from Europe and America to intervene, or get the United Nations involved,” Marusek said. “Right now, let the League try to do its job.”