U.S. Cautious in Face of Mounting Criticism on Arab League Monitors in Syria

State Department Spokeswoman says the U.S. was concerned violence was continuing, but success will be judged based on how they execute their mission.

The US State Department expressed caution Thursday over Arab League monitors in Syria as criticism mounted elsewhere that they were not doing enough to curb violence.

Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States was concerned that violence was continuing despite the presence of the monitors, but that ultimately Washington would judge the success based on how well they ultimately execute their mission.

Arab League observers - Reuters - 30122011

"We see some positive signs, but not enough," Nuland said, but noted that the regime needs to accept other parts of the Arab League proposal to end the violence.

”The monitors alone are not enough if the violence doesn't end, if the tanks don't come out of the cities, if the political prisoners aren't released from prison," she said.

At least 29 civilians were killed in Syria on Thursday, the opposition said, as a team of Arab League observers inspected restive areas.

According to the United Nations, more than 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since the government began its relentless clampdown on pro-democracy protests in mid-March.