Syria signs Arab League deal to allow observers


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The Independent Online

Syria signed an Arab League initiative yesterday that will allow observers into the country as part of an effort to end the nation's increasingly bloody nine-month crisis. But the main opposition group accused the regime of stalling.

The signing at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo followed increasing world pressure on Syria, alongside a wave of armed clashes between Syria's military and defectors from the army, raising fears of an imminent civil war.

The regime's acceptance of Arab observers came after a warning from Arab leaders that they would turn to the UN Security Council to try to end President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown that the UN says has killed at least 5,000 people.