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Syria agrees to Arab League plan for allowing international monitors

December 20, 2011 - Damascus

The Syrian government has accepted an Arab League plan to allow international monitors into the country to observe a situation that anti-government activists call a bloody crackdown on protestors.

Syria has agreed to implement a proposal signed last month by permitting an initial group of monitors to enter Syria within 72 hours and discussing plans for a total of 500 observers to operate across the country, The Washington Post reports.

The agreement comes as Syria's international isolation deepens amid attempts to suppress a nine-month uprising, which the United Nations claims has left nearly 5,000 people dead.

According to the paper, anti-government activists have greeted the news of the deal with "extreme skepticism."

An opposition member Yaser Tabbara said that the Syrian government was well known for reneging on agreements, and the opposition group's leader, Burhan Ghalioun, said that the deal 'is just a ploy'.

"They have no intention of implementing any initiative," Ghalioun said, urging Arab League and UN military action in Syria to establish safe zones.

Meanwhile, Russia, an ally that could previously be relied upon to veto any UN sanction against Syria, last week advised Syrian leaders to implement the Arab League proposal, and suggested a Security Council resolution that refers to "disproportionate use of force," by Assad's troops.


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