Syrian protesters are keeping up the pressure, with Arab League monitors now touring the city of Homs.
Up to 30,000 people are reported to have staged a sit-in at the flashpoint city where tanks were seen pulling out ahead of the observers’ visit.
Activists say demonstrators want the mission to know it must not be hoodwinked by being shown parts of the flashpoint city where life is relatively normal.
The monitors are there to assess whether President Assad has halted a crackdown on the nine-month-long anti-government protests. But opposition activists say Syria’s third biggest city has been hammered by government tanks and troops in recent days, with 34 deaths on Monday.
State media says ‘terrorists’ sabotaged a pipeline in Homs province today.
In the city itself, opposition activists say 34 people were killed on Monday.
There have been at least 5,000 deaths since Syria’s protest movement started, according to the United Nations.
Assad’s opponents fear the monitors will become a cloak of respectability for a regime that will hide the scale of the violence.