Syria finally agreed to allow Arab League observers into the country yesterday, in a deal that is supposed to help usher in the end to the crackdown on anti-government protesters—but even as it did so, troops yesterday slaughtered army deserters who were attempting to leave their bases. More than 70 were gunned down in the country's northwest Idlib province, activist groups tell the BBC.
One defector told a human rights group that machine gun fire took down those trying to flee their military positions. All told, yesterday's death toll could top 110, a figure that, if true, would rank among the bloodiest to date. The Arab League says its observers will hit the ground in Syria on Thursday.