CAIRO, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch said Wednesday the only way civilians in Syria can be protected is with independent civilian monitors on the ground.
The Arab League, during an emergency meeting Oct. 16 to address the conflict in Syria, fell short of the votes needed to suspend Syria from the bloc, instead calling for a national dialogue.
Arab delegates were expected in Damascus to discuss options for a dialogue with opposition groups.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said the Arab League must get assurances that civilians will be protected if it has any hope of succeeding in Syria.
"The only way to make sure civilians are protected is to have on-the-ground monitors whose presence would inhibit abuse by the security services," she said in a statement.
Nearly 200 people have been killed by Syrian security forces since Arab League's extraordinary meeting. More than 3,000 have died in protest-related incidents since an uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad began in mid-March.
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said during a weekend meeting in Jordan that calls for international military intervention into Syria were mounting.
The official Syrian Arab News Agency reported that a Danish news organization was just the latest to issue false reports about the situation inside the country. A recent report from Amnesty International accusing Syria of using hospitals as torture chambers was also discredited by SANA.