The Arab League's monitoring mission to Syria has been frozen given the escalation of violence in the country, the Arab League said in a statement on Saturday.

It has been decided to immediately stop the work of the Arab League's mission to Syria pending presentation of the issue to the league's council, the Secretary-General of the Arab League said in a statement.

The mission would remain in Syria, a source at the league had earlier told Reuters, but would temporarily freeze its work.

The head of the monitoring mission, Ambassador Adnan al-Khodeir, had earlier said that the General Secretariat of the league would take all the necessary procedures to protect the safety of its monitors in Syria.