Syrian Democracy activists on denounced as "unprofessional" an Arab League observer mission in Syria, after the bloc's chief admitted snipers were still active in the country despite their presence.There have actually been dozens of murders since the observers arrived. 29 were killed Tuesday alone.
The mission has been mired in controversy since the first observers arrived on December 26, with activists accusing Syria's regime of keeping the monitors on a short leash as it presses on with its lethal crackdown on dissent.
Meanwhile, as unrelenting violence continued, French President Nicolas Sarkozy demanded his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad step down for overseeing "disgusting" massacres against his own people.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said security forces killed three civilians in the central city of Homs, even as state television reported observers were in the Homs region.
The group also reported two more civilian deaths in Hama, and said 18 members of the security services died during clashes with army deserters in the southern city of Daraa.
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, in his first remarks since the observers arrived, defended the mission, saying it had secured the release of political prisoners and the withdrawal of tanks from cities.
However, "there are still snipers and gunfire. There must be a total halt to the gunfire," he told reporters on Monday.
Political cartoonists have been noticing this: