News / Middle East

Syria Rejects Qatar's Call for Arab Troops

Armed members of the Free Syrian Army are seen in the western border town of Zabadani, Syria, in this undated photo, January 16, 2012.
Armed members of the Free Syrian Army are seen in the western border town of Zabadani, Syria, in this undated photo, January 16, 2012.

Syria has rejected a Qatari proposal to send Arab troops to the country to stop 10 months of unrest, saying such a move would worsen the situation and open the door for foreign interference.

In a statement Tuesday, the Syrian foreign ministry says Damascus will oppose any attempt to undermine its sovereignty, and wants Arab nations to stop what it calls a media campaign against Syria.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani proposed deploying Arab troops in Syria last week, saying the move is needed to "stop the killing." He is the first Arab leader to back that idea. Foreign ministers of the 22-member Arab League are due to discuss the next steps in their response to the Syrian crisis at meeting on Sunday.

Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov on Tuesday as saying Russia will not support sending Arab peacekeepers to Syria. In an interview with the BBC, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaliy Churkin called the Qatari proposal a "distraction" and an "irritant."  

Experts from the 15-member U.N. Security Council were due to meet Tuesday to discuss a revised Russian draft resolution on resolving the Syrian crisis. Gatilov said Moscow wants a resolution that rules out the use of force in Syria, and puts an equal burden on the government and the opposition to end violence and start negotiations.

Western powers have been pushing the Security Council for months to condemn the Syrian government for its violent suppression of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's 11-year autocratic rule. They also want the Council to impose sanctions on Damascus. Russia and China have blocked such measures.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Council on Monday to act in a "serious" and "coherent" manner on the unrest in Syria, where he says casualties have reached "unacceptable" levels.

Sunday's Arab League meeting also will review a report by a group of Arab League observers sent to Syria last month to check on Assad's pledges to stop the crackdown and release detained opposition activists.

Syrian opposition activists have criticized the observer mission, saying the Syrian government is deceiving it and using the monitors as a cover to intensify security operations against the opposition.

The United Nations says violence linked to the uprising has killed more than 5,000 people. Syria says "terrorists" have killed about 2,000 members of the security forces since the unrest began.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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 Ferguson, Missouri Streets Calm After Days of Violence

Police official says authorities responded to fewer incidents, noting there were no shootings, Molotov cocktails or fires More

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

For Chanthy Sok, rap infused with Cambodian melodies is a way to pay respect to the survivors of the victims of Khmer Rouge genocide More

Study: Our Life with Neanderthals Was No Brief Affair

Scientists discover thousands of years of overlap between modern humans and their shorter, stockier cousins 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid