Muzaffar Salman, Associated Press
Mourners wave Syrian flags and a photo of President Bashar Assad as they chant slogans at a mass funeral Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011 for 44 people killed in twin suicide bombings that targeted intelligence agency compounds in Damascus, Syria. Mourners carried coffins draped in the red, white and black Syrian flags into the eighth-century Omayyad Mosque, where they were placed on the ground for prayers.

BEIRUT — With violence continuing, the leader of Syria's main opposition group is urging the Arab League to push for U.N. involvement in seeking an end to the bloodshed.

Burhan Ghalioun, the Paris-based leader of the Syrian National Council, made the plea in a televised speech marking Christmas.

The Arab League has begun sending observers into Syria to monitor its compliance with a plan demanding an end to the regime's crackdown on political opponents. The 22-member bloc has warned that it could turn to the U.N. Security Council to help stop the violence that began in March.

The Arab League plan demands the government remove its security forces and heavy weapons from city streets, start talks with opposition leaders and allow human rights workers and journalists into the country.