• Arab League foreign ministers are due to meet in Egypt today to decide whether to extend their controversial monitoring mission in Syria, amid continuing violence. The ministers will discuss a report by the mission's head in Cairo. 
  • The 165-person strong mission expired on Jan 19 with no sign of a halt to the government's crackdown on protesters. The observers have been criticised for failing to stop the violence, but analysts say the league is expected to renew the mission for another month.
  • Meanwhile, Syrian rebels said that army deserters had briefly taken control of much of the Damascus suburb of Douma last night after fierce fighting with the security services. 
  • The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fighting broke out after security services shot dead four civilians at a funeral service. The rebels later decided to withdraw for fear of reprisal raids from the government forces. However, there has been no independent confirmation of any fighting in the area.
  • In a separate development, at least 14 people killed after a van carrying prisoners was blown up on a road in north-west Syria. The official Sana news agency said the police van was attacked by an armed group on the Idlib-Ariha highway.