Jan. 1 - Syrian state television broadcasts images of Arab League monitors touring Syrian cities amid criticism that the team is allowing Damascus to cover up continued violence. Katharine Jackson reports.
Images broadcast on Syrian state TV show people crowding around an Arab League observer wearing an orange jacket in Syria. Some people carry portraits, others try handing papers to the observer. The broadcast says the team of observers has now toured several Syrian cities. An Arab League advisory body called on Sunday for immediate withdrawal of the organization's team of observers, saying the monitoring mission was allowing Damascus to cover up continued violence. The Arab League sent the team to check whether President Bashar al-Assad is keeping his promise to end a crackdown on a nine-month uprising against his rule. Rights groups have reported continued deaths and tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to demonstrate their anger. The United Nations estimates more than 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since March. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.