First Arab monitors arrive in Syria
With an armed insurgency increasingly eclipsing civilian protests, many fear Syria is drifting towards sectarian war.
Cairo: The first group of Arab monitors arrived in Syria on Monday to assess whether Damascus is adhering to a plan to end a nine-month crackdown on protests against President Bashar al-Assad`s rule, a member of the Arab delegation in Damascus said.
"They arrived at about 8 pm," said the source, who was speaking by telephone from Damascus after meeting the monitors at the airport.
Fifty monitors and 10 officials from the Arab League secretariat were flying on a private Egyptian airplane, a Cairo airport source said before the aircraft took off. The observer mission will eventually include about 150 people, League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby told Reuters last week.
The head of observer mission, Sudanese General Mustafa al-Dabi, arrived in Damascus on Saturday. He went to Syria shortly after an advance team of Arab League officials went to Syria to arrange terms and logistics for the mission.