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

The mission would remain in Syria, the source said, but would temporarily freeze its work.

The source gave no further details, but said a statement would be issued by the Arab League later on Saturday regarding the decision.

The head of the monitoring mission, Ambassador Adnan al-Khodeir, did not say whether a final decision had been taken regarding freezing the mission, but told Reuters that the General Secretariat of the League would take all the necessary procedures to protect the safety of its monitors in Syria.

(Reporting by Ayman Samir; Writing by Shaimaa Fayed)