News / Middle East

Arab League Mulls Syria Action

The Syrian flag and a sign in Arabic that reads, "the Syrian Arabic Republic," is seen in front of the empty chair of the Syrian representative during the Arab League Syria Group and foreign ministers meeting in Cairo, Egypt Sunday, February 12, 2012.
The Syrian flag and a sign in Arabic that reads, "the Syrian Arabic Republic," is seen in front of the empty chair of the Syrian representative during the Arab League Syria Group and foreign ministers meeting in Cairo, Egypt Sunday, February 12, 2012.
Elizabeth Arrott

Arab League members are considering the alliance's next steps toward Syria, including the possibility of a forming a joint peacekeeping force with the United Nations.

Arab League ministers met throughout the day Sunday, regrouping after a league plan was vetoed by Russia and China at the U.N. Security Council. A draft resolution being circulated proposes a joint peacekeeping force to help end the violence that has rocked Syria for nearly a year.

The proposal would significantly increase the level of intervention in the conflict, but it was not clear how far the idea would progress. Syria's allies in the Security Council have consistently rejected more modest proposals.

The Arab ministers were also considering whether to suggest the United Nations appoint a special envoy to Damascus, and that a variety of international sanctions be strengthened.

Tunisia announced that it will host the first meeting of the Friends of Syria, a group of Arab and European nations plus the United States, formed to bypass Security Council opposition.

League members also discussed greater recognition of the opposition Syrian National Council as an alternative government to that of President Bashar al-Assad. The drive is being led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, who met earlier in the day in Cairo.

Outside league headquarters in Cairo, demonstrators continued their demands the alliance take strong action.

As for recognition of the Syrian National Council, demonstrator Ahmed Ouf is hopeful that would be the start of a process that proved successful elsewhere in the region.

"We must start to make like Libya. The Libyan people take support from Qatar, from the U.N. We need the soldiers to leave Bashar al-Assad soldiers and make the el-Jish el-Hor [Free Army]. They must take support from government to the people."

But the people are far from united, with some opponents in Syria suspicious of the foreign-based Syrian National Council, and an increasingly militarized wing split between the rebel Free Syrian Army and local militias.

Further complicating support for what began as a peaceful opposition movement, al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri made a public appeal on behalf of the uprising.

In a video posted on an extremist website Sunday, Zawahri called for liberation from and retaliation against the government of President Assad. He also called for militants in neighboring countries to join in the fight.

Western intelligence analysts say al-Qaida members are already likely involved, and suspect them of carrying out recent bombings in Aleppo.

Nearly a year after the uprising began, and thousands of civilians and security personnel killed, the violence continued Sunday with government forces pounding residential areas of the flashpoint city of Homs.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid