Jan. 2 - Amateur video from Syria purportedly shows large crowds in several cities calling on Arab League monitors to help end the violence. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Amateur video out of Syria appears to show crowds surrounding an Arab League monitor in Hama. The video, which could not be independently verified by Reuters, comes amid reports that armed Syrian rebels captured dozens of members of government security forces Monday. A man who has climbed inside one of the monitor's vehicles says a local mosque was attacked by Syrian forces in Homs. Footage purportedly from Homs shows observers out on the street. Homs as well as Hama have been at the center of the nearly 10-month old uprisings against President Bashar al-Assad. A man approaches an observer and tells him that Syrians want to get rid of the regime. More footage, reportedly from Idlib, shows citizens surrounding an observers car. An Arab League monitoring mission has spent the past week assessing Assad's compliance with a peace plan. The United Nations estimates that at least 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began last March. The government blames the violence on foreign backed armed militant groups. Syria has banned most independent media from the country making it difficult to verify accounts from activists or the government. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters