News / Middle East

Syria Signs Arab League Deal Allowing Outside Monitors

Syrians hold a large poster depicting Syria's President Bashar Assad during a rally in Damascus, Syria. Syria signed an Arab League initiative Monday that will allow Arab observers into the country as part of peace deal that aims to end the nation's incre
Syrians hold a large poster depicting Syria's President Bashar Assad during a rally in Damascus, Syria. Syria signed an Arab League initiative Monday that will allow Arab observers into the country as part of peace deal that aims to end the nation's incre

Syria has agreed to an Arab League plan to allow observers into the country, as rights activists say security forces killed dozens of army deserters in the country's northwest.

Syria's deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, signed the deal Monday in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, following nine months of violence that the United Nations estimates has killed at least 5,000 people.

The Arab League wants to send observers to verify if the government will honor a deal to stop its security forces from attacking anti-government protesters.

The Arab League suspended Syria's membership and imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions on Damascus last month to pressure it into accepting the peace initiative. Syria had demanded changes to the plan, saying the proposed observer mission would violate its sovereignty.

Syria's closest ally, Iran, said Monday it backed President Bashar al-Assad's decision to implement the Arab League plan.

Meanwhile, rights activists say security forces attacked army deserters fleeing their base in Idlib province Monday, killing dozens.  One of the survivors told the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that between 60 and 70 were killed.  The reports could not be independently verified as Syria does not allow foreign media to work freely in the country.

Syrian authorities say they have released a Syrian-American blogger on bail, two weeks after her arrest.  The media rights group where blogger Razan Ghazzawi worked says authorities released her late Sunday.

Syrian authorities arrested her as she headed to Jordan for a conference on press freedoms and charged her with spreading false information and stirring dissent.  If found guilty, she could face up to 15 years in jail.

At the U.N. Monday, the General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning Syria for the human rights situation amid the nation's unrest.

Earlier at the U.N., China said it supports a new draft U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the violence in Syria.  The proposal introduced by Russia last week condemns violence by all parties, but stops short of calling for sanctions.

Western powers welcomed Russia's proposal, but said it is not strong enough.  Both Russia and China vetoed a draft resolution in October that contained possible references to sanctions.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid