Arab League Mission Ends in Syria Amid Bloodshed

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A protester in the flahspoint central Syrian city of Homs throws a tear gas bomb back towards security forces, on December 27, 2011. Syrian police used tear gas to disperse some 70,000 people in Homs. (-/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

It was a controversial mission from the beginning, the nation of Syria was resistant from the get go, the President of Syria even openly criticized it while it was going on but the Arab League observer mission in Syria comes to an end this weekend. That doesn't mean the League monitors are leaving the country. The head of the mission is due to present his report to the League this weekend and their mandate could be extended.

The observer mission was meant to help end the violence, but that hasn't happened. Yesterday alone, the opposition in Syria says more than 20 people were killed, adding to the UN's estimate of already more than 5,000 dead since the protests started in March. Syria's storyline in the turmoil that has produced so much political change in the Middle East, has been particularly brutal and the Arab League observers have had a good view of it all.

Tim Whewell from our partner the BBC has spent the last week in the country following the observers and he went with them to a small town on the outskirts of Damascus.

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