Arab League Observers Head to Syria
December 23, 2011
An Arab League advance team is due in Syria on Thursday to launch a hard-won observer mission to oversee a plan to end nine months of bloodshed. The mission’s leader, veteran Sudanese military intelligence officer General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, said its numbers would swell to a total of between 150 and 200 in the following days.
The observer mission is part of an Arab plan, endorsed by Syria on November 2, which also calls for a halt to the violence, the release of detainees and the withdrawal of the military from towns and residential districts. But Damascus managed to obtain key concessions to the initial plan for observers which, Syrian authorities said, was too vague and ‘did not take sufficient account of the national security’ of the country.