Arab League to send 500 monitors to Syria
The Arab League will send 500 monitors to Syria to help resolve the ongoing crisis in the country, the Arab Medical Union's head, Ibrahim al-Zafarani, said on Monday, RIA Novosti reported.
The monitors will observe the situation on the ground and see that civilians' rights are not violated by the ruling regime, he said.
The mission will include Arab rights activists, journalists and military officers. The date of their dispatch will be decided on Wednesday at a ministerial conference in Morocco.
Zafarani said Syria had agreed to receive the fact-finding mission.
"A protocol will be signed between the Arab League and Syria to guarantee the freedom of movement of this committee," he said.
The Arab League suspended Syria from the organization on Saturday, and said it would impose harsh economic and political sanctions against Assad's government.
Last week, Damascus agreed to accept an Arab League peace plan for Syria, in which Damascus would release political prisoners detained in the current conflict, and remove all military equipment from urban areas.
Earlier on Monday EU foreign ministers approved a package of additional sanctions against Syria over the bloody crackdown on protests by President Bashar Assad's regime.
The new sanctions close Syria's access to funds from the European Investment Bank, increase the number of individuals affected by visa and travel bans from 56 to 74, and impose prohibitions on trade.
The EU previously increased sanctions against Syria in October, adding the Commercial Bank of Syria to a list of entities sanctioned and imposed an embargo on crude oil imports from Syria.
Opposition leaders maintain that the Syrian authorities continue to use force against "peaceful demonstrations." According to UN estimates, more than 3,000 people have been killed in Syria since mid-March, when the first anti-regime protests began.