Arab League tells Syria again: halt violence

?Aya Batrawy & Zeina Karam

Associated Press

The Arab League demanded Sunday that the Syrian government immediately stop all violence and allow more monitors in, as activists reported at least 10 more civilians, including two teenagers, were killed by regime forces.

Fierce clashes in the south between government troops and military defectors left 11 soldiers dead, activists said. The Arab League also called on other armed parties to halt all bloodshed, an apparent reference to the defectors.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheik Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabr Al Thani said the ministers did not agree to call for U.N. experts to join the observers’ mission in Syria, but said U.N. experts will train the monitors in Cairo before they leave. Even had they called for the U.N. experts to go in, Syria’s regime may well have blocked them.

The success of the mission, said Al Thani, who heads the committee, “depends on the government of Syria, and that means stopping the killings, withdrawing troops from the cities, and allowing journalists to work and enter Syria.”

Opposition activists say around 450 people have been killed by President Bashar Assad’s regime since observers began work in Syria nearly two weeks ago.