Syria Agrees 'in Principle' to Let Observers In

As violence from dissidents mounts

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 18, 2011 8:34 AM CST

(Newser) – As anti-government protests intensified and armed rebels started attacking government installations, Bashar al-Assad's regime has agreed "in principle" to allow Arab League observers into Syria, a senior official tells the AP. "Syria has agreed in principle to the Arab League proposal," he said. "We are still studying the details." The change, of course, came after a string of attacks from army deserters on Syrian positions; they hit Baath Party youth offices yesterday, activists tell the New York Times.

A day earlier, the rebels fired rocket-propelled grenades at a military intelligence base. The government didn't report either attack, and it's unclear if anyone was hurt, but they represent a big symbolic show of defiance. "This is quite similar to a true civil war," Russia's foreign minister said. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe called on the opposition "to avoid an armed insurrection,” while also demanding action from the UN Security Council against Assad, something that Russia and China have vetoed in the past.

Qatari Prime Minister Hamad ben Jassem and Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi arrive for a press conference during a meeting of Arab League states and Turkey to discuss Syria, Wednesday.
Qatari Prime Minister Hamad ben Jassem and Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi arrive for a press conference during a meeting of Arab League states and Turkey to discuss Syria, Wednesday.   (Getty Images)
Qatari Prime Minister Hamad ben Jassem and Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi give a press conference during an Arab League summit on the crackdown in Syria, November 16, 2011.
Qatari Prime Minister Hamad ben Jassem and Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi give a press conference during an Arab League summit on the crackdown in Syria, November 16, 2011.   (Getty Images)
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