The General added that “in some areas the conditions were not good”, but that a first recognisance didn’t reveal anything “terrible”.

On the first day of the observers visit yesterday, thousands took the streets. According to some anti-government sources, security forces suppressed the crowd with force. Activists claim that security forces yesterday killed 16 people, 6 of whom in Homs. A protest group reported an even higher toll.

According to the United Nations, some 5,000 people were killed in Syria over the past nine months.

The Arab League mission aims to determine the origin of the violence. The opposition denounces a harsh crackdown by the government of Bashar al Assad, which in turn attributes the violence to armed opposition groups.