Syria Signs Arab League Proposal as Carnage Continues
Troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad continued to kill opponents Monday while he agreed to sign an Arab League proposal for sending observers.
The document was signed by the Syrian foreign minister, who has arrived in Cairo. The question remains whether Assad will honor his signature. Syria's deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad has arrived in Cairo, and a pro-government Syrian newspaper said he will sign the agreement.
He previously has verbally agreed to proposals to end the violence or allow Arab League observers to enter the country but has subsequently reneged. The Arab League warned Assad that if he did not agree this time, he would face foreign intervention.
Despite his apparent agreement, nine more people were killed in clashes between the army and dissidents, who now include a large number of army defectors.
Assad officially still acts as if he remains in full control. Syria has "dealt positively with proposals presented because it's in (our) interest for the world to know what is happening in Syria.” he was quoted as saying by his official government SANA news agency.
Contrary to his verbal posturing, foreign journalists are barred from the country, and most information has been smuggled through electronic devices. The government effectively controls most Internet services, frequently shutting them down.
On Sunday, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an army officer was among six soldiers killed in the Homs province, near the Lebanese border.
The Observatory and the Local Coordination Committees reported that at least 15 civilians were killed by security forces. One of those killed was attending the funeral of a man who was killed earlier.