News / Middle East

Arab League Sees Progress in Syria Mission; Snipers Remain

This still image taken from video off a social media website shows protesters covering their faces from tear gas being fired in a Damascus suburb, December 30, 2011.
This still image taken from video off a social media website shows protesters covering their faces from tear gas being fired in a Damascus suburb, December 30, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil El Arabi said Monday that an Arab League observer mission to Syria has made progress, but that snipers remain a threat in Syrian cities and must be withdrawn. 

Video clip - violence in Syria

The Arab League chief told reporters that snipers continue to fire on Syrian civilians, but he emphasized positive points of the week-old mission, which is intended to end the bloodshed that has flared during a government crackdown on political dissent.  

El Arabi said progress has been made in removing heavy weaponry from Syrian cities, and he said the Syrian government has released more than 3,000 prisoners.

El Arabi said tanks and artillery have been withdrawn from populated areas.  He added that Arab League observers have also helped to remove corpses from cities, and to bring food to the people in Homs.

But the Arab League chief noted that shooting continues and that the next step will be to work to have snipers withdrawn completely.

Opposition websites show videos of what are purported to be government snipers on rooftops in several cities.  One video shows snipers on the minaret of a mosque.  Another video shows the body of a child reportedly killed by a sniper as he left home to buy bread.  The authenticity of the videos has not been confirmed.

Middle East analyst Hilal Khashan of the American University of Beirut says the Arab League chief's comments about snipers was a breakthrough for the observer mission. "El Arabi said today that the Arab League observers will soon issue a statement on the outcome of their mission in Syria.  I think he gave us a clue about the direction of the initial statement.  He said that there are still snipers on rooftops.  For El Arabi to say that there are snipers is a major development," he said.

The Arab League observer mission is scheduled to end in a little more than two weeks.  More than 70 Arab League observers are in Syria, with more expected to arrive.  But Syrian opposition leaders complain that the team is undermanned, under-equipped and inadequately trained for the mission.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid