The Arab League says it will continue with its monitoring mission in Syria despite calls from the main rebel force for it to leave. The observers arrived in the country last week to verify a government committment to reduce its military presence and free political prisoners.
However, the Syrian opposition and rights groups claim their presence is having little effect and that the bloodshed and repression continues. Now the head of the Free Syrian Army has said it will step up its attacks against government forces over what it sees as the unsatisfactory performance by monitors.
There was evidence of the oppositions scepticism about the mission in what appeared to be a parody mocking its members during a protest in the city of Homs.
After a meeting with the UN the League has said it admits mistakes have been made and may seek technical help from the world body to continue its operation.
Syria says it has released more than 500 prisoners as part of an agreement to end violence in the country.
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