News / Middle East

Arab League to Hold Review Session on Syria Observers' Work

Arab League monitors check Al-Sabil area, in Daraa, Syria, January 3, 2012.
Arab League monitors check Al-Sabil area, in Daraa, Syria, January 3, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio

Amid mounting criticism over the effectiveness of its observer mission to Syria, the Arab League has called an urgent meeting Saturday to discuss the future role of its team. France's foreign minister and Syrian opposition groups say the League mission has done little to quell violence against civilians.

Women in the Syrian city of Daraa told Arab League observers Tuesday about an alleged shooting by government security forces. Videos on Syrian opposition websites show citizens complaining about the government crackdown to League observers.

Responding to criticism over ongoing violence by Syrian security forces, the Arab League has called a foreign ministers' meeting for Saturday to discuss the future of its observer team.  Arab League chief Nabil al Araby told journalists this week that progress has been made, but that violence continues in Syria, and must be stopped.

Witnesses described people panicking Tuesday afternoon in the city of Hama, as Syrian security forces fired at a large crowd of protesters. Opposition sources said at least several people were killed.  It was not possible to confirm the casualty figures.

Earlier Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe criticized the Arab League mission and said the conditions of its deployment should be re-examined.

Juppe said more than 5,000 Syrians have died and that the U.N. Security Council has been unable to act (because several countries are blocking action).  He added that France is pleased by the Arab League observer mission, but that the conditions of the mission need to be re-examined.

Opposition leaders complain that the Syrian government is flouting the observer mission by hiding tanks behind sandbags, sequestering thousands of prisoners in places off limits to observers, and using snipers to fire on civilians.

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, says that despite some accomplishments, the observers have been mostly unable to compel the Syrian government to comply with the Arab League plan to halt violence against civilians:

Abou Diab says the Syrian regime has not respected the Arab League plan, which includes not only the deployment of observers, but the withdrawal of the army from cities, an end to killing civilians, and the liberation of all prisoners.

Pro-Syrian government television interviewed several people who claimed that "terrorists" continue to attack government troops.  The Syrian government said Tuesday that terrorists also blew up a gas pipeline near the northern town of Rastan, forcing further electricity cuts nationwide.

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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid