Thousands Rally in Syria as Arab League Chief Warns of Civil War
The chief of the Arab League warned Friday that Syria may be heading towards a civil war as thousands of Syrians took to the streets in support of an armed rebel group.
Arab League head Nabil Elaraby commented in interviews with The Associated Press and an Egyptian TV station while anti-government protesters voiced support for the Free Syrian Army, composed mainly of former soldiers.
Activists say 20,000 gathered in the town of Ariha in the northwest Idlib province. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says soldiers opened fire on protesters in the region, killing at least one person.
The 10-month crackdown on anti-government protests has turned more violent in recent months as defecting soldiers have taken up arms against the government.
Amateur video released Friday shows an armored personnel carrier in flames after it reportedly was attacked by members of the Free Syrian Army. The content of the video posted on YouTube can not be independently verified.
Elaraby spoke after at least 11 members of the Arab League observer mission were injured by pro-Assad supporters earlier this week. Meanwhile, one observer quit the monitoring team, calling it a “farce,” and activists told VOA that 11 members are expected to quit the mission soon.