Conflict & Justice

Syria agrees to allow Arab observers in, with conditions



Pro-democracy protesters burn portraits of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a demonstration outside the Arab League headquarters in Cairo where an emergency ministerial meeting was held on November 12, 2011 to discuss the situation in Syria.



Syria agreed Monday to allow Arab observers into the country only if the Arab League drops sanctions and agree to amendmends they have previously rejected, according to news reports.

Syria's demands, which quickly rejected by Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby, caused the frustrated Syrian National Council opposition group to accuse the regime of wasting time and trying to trick the League into reppealing its punishments against Damascus, the Associated Press Reported.

Arab League gave Syria a Sunday deadline to allow the bloc’s request to send observers to the country or suffer from tightened sanctions. Syria’s latest negotiation attempt with the League may have been a play to buy more time.

Syria has missed several deadlines the Arab League imposed but said over the weekend it is open to allowing Arab monitors into the country.

The international community has publicly condemned Bashir’s violent crackdown against protesters numerous times and has pleaded with the regime to stop its suppression.

But Bashir’s government shows no signs of abating, with new clashes on Sunday killing nine people – including three children. November marks the deadliest month in Syria’s eight-month-old revolt, bringing the total death toll to more than 4,000, according to the UN.

More from GlobalPost: 25 killed from fresh clashes in Syria, activist group say 

The unrelenting crackdown has led the League, the EU and Turkey to impose economic sanctions against Syria this past month.

Qatar's foreign minister, Sheik Hamad bin Jassim al Thani, said Syria’s failure to agree to a league-negotiated plan Sunday could lead to UN involvement, the Los Angeles Times reported. Syria has expressed opposition to any foreign-led intervention similar to NATO forces helping oust Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

More from GlobalPost: The rise and fall of Muammar Gaddafi (GALLERY)