Jan. 4 - Syrian TV and amateur video obtained online appears to show Syrians crowding around Arab League observers, who are in the country to verify whether the government is implementing a peace plan. Katharine Jackson reports.
A crowd converges on Arab League observers driving in convoy through Deraa, Syria in these images shown on Syrian state TV. Speaking in English - the broadcaster says the team has also toured Homs and Damascus. Video obtained from a social media web site appears to show an observer in orange jacket photographing Syrian security forces near Deraa. Reuters cannot independently verify the content of video uploaded to social media web sites. Syria has barred entry to most foreign journalists. The Arab League mission is in Syria to verify whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is implementing a peace plan to withdraw the military from restive areas and release thousands of prisoners detained during a nine-month uprising against his rule. The League Secretary said on Monday - the observers have reported that state forces had withdrawn from residential areas. Other videos - also obtained online - show residents imploring observers to report their stories. A group of men can be heard disputing the official account of an attack on a gas pipeline, which authorities said on Tuesday was carried out by "terrorists". A masked man tells the observer that the attack was carried out by a Syrian military aircraft in the middle of the night. The mission is expected to report on its work by the end of this week. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.