Arab League halts mission; Syria expresses regret

The Arab League suspended its observer mission in Syria as the bloodshed in a crackdown on anti-regime protests spiked.

Damascus: Syria has expressed “regret and astonishment” over the Arab League’s decision to suspend its observer mission in the country.

According to an unnamed official, the decision is aimed at imposing more pressure on the United Nations Security Council`s meeting, encouraging the armed groups to increase violence in the country and calling for foreign intervention in Syria.

“It was clear that the observers` report that affirmed the existence of armed groups in Syria... wasn`t satisfactory for some Arab countries,” Syria’s state run media quoted the official, as saying.

According to Xinhua, the official reaffirmed Syria`s commitment to making the observer mission a success according to the signed protocol between the AL and Syria and to provide protection to the observers.

The Arab League decided to suspend its observer mission in Syria on Saturday, amid the deteriorating situation in the unrest-torn country and the continuous use of violence.

“The AL decided to temporarily suspend its observer mission in Syria to protect observers from increasing violence,” head of AL`s monitoring operation room in Cairo, Adnan al- Khodair said.

Moustafa al-Dabi, head of the AL observer mission in Syria, said in a statement on Friday that the wave of violence in Syria had dramatically escalated in recent days, especially in Homs, Idlib and Hama.

He added that the status quo could not create appropriate conditions for achieving the AL ministerial council`s decisions about pushing all parties to sit for negotiations.