Nightly News   |  January 15, 2012

U.N. increases pressure on Syria’s Assad

The international community is increasing its pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop the violence in his country. NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports.

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>>> overseas to se s ts to syria where t he president finds himself increasingly isolated and under siege by the international community . we are following the latest developments from cairo. good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, lester. in the face of that international pressure, president bashar al assad said today extended an amnesty covering political prisoners and anyone who may have taken up arms against the state in a ten-month uprising, saying it is also going to be applied against anyone who has defected from the army in those ten months. activists say that comes on a day that 27 people were killed, the united nations says more than 5,000 people have been killed so far in that ten-month uprising. that international condemnation you're talking about coming from the united nations secretary-general saying the era of one man rule in the middle east has come to an end. and that the syrian president must stop killing his own people. all of this coming as an arab league observer mission that has been here in syria for more than a month now is wrapping up its findings. they're meeting with eyewitnesses and visiting hospitals. but many have been very critical of that observer mission. they're expected to submit their report to the arab league later this week here in cairo. back to you, lester.

>> ayman will be heading to syria this week for a firsthand look at the troubling situation there. look for his reports from damascus beginning tuesday.