Syria Monitor Quits, Calls Mission a 'Farce'
And a second says he's on the verge of doing the same
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2012 10:15 AM CST
Arab League observers are seen at a protest in Idlib, Syria, in this image from amateur video made available by the Shaam News Network and shot Dec. 30, 2011,    (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via APTN)

(Newser) – An Arab League monitor has bailed on the Syria mission, and another says he's on the verge of doing so, amid frustrations about how ineffectual the mission has been. On Tuesday, Algerian observer Anwar Malek told al-Jazeera he was resigning because the mission was a "farce" and unable to protect civilians. "What I saw was a humanitarian disaster," he said. "The snipers are everywhere shooting at civilians. People are being kidnapped. Prisoners are being tortured and none were released."

A second, anonymous observer tells Reuters he plans to do the same, backing up Malek's observations. "I am trying to leave on Friday," he said. "Because the mission is unclear.... It does not serve the citizens. It does not serve anything." He said the regime hadn't withdrawn its military equipment at all—not even from mosques. "There is no real response on the ground." He added that other monitors were also considering bolting, citing either principle or fear for their safety.