Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

29 Jan 2012 21:52


World: Syria conflict: Calls for outside involvement rise as Arab League leaves

  • The current battles taking place in and around Damascus may not yet lead to the unraveling of the regime, but the illusion of normalcy that the Assads have sought hard to maintain in the capital since the beginning of the revolution has surely unraveled. … Once illusions unravel, reality soon follows.
  • U.S.-based Syrian dissident Ammar Abdulhamid • Discussing the current situation in Damascus, where government tanks have gone into rebel strongholds in an attempt to take back the ground. The situation in the country is quickly deteriorating, with another 62 killed throughout the country Sunday, and the Arab League had to suspend their mission in the region on Saturday as a result of the violence. The big question here: Will outside military forces have to get involved to help ease the situation? Libya was a controversial decision for the U.S. and NATO, and the situation in Syria is in many ways as violent and unhinged. While the U.S. may not heed the call again, the United Nations might. A lot of difficult questions to answer in Syria. source

22 Jan 2012 21:17


World: Arab League expands observer group, wants Assad to step aside

  • We all had hopes that after sending observers, the problem would be solved—that the presence of observers would halt the violence. But that didn’t happen. Saudi Arabia felt unmotivated and I’m telling you that everyone in the [deliberation] hall felt unmotivated.
  • Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Al Arabi • Describing the frustration the Arab League’s monitors faced in in Syria over recent weeks. The group wants Bashar al-Assad to step aside and hand power to his vice president. The monitors will stay in the country for a second month. The Arab League, which claimed many deaths came as a result of “mutual violence” (to the chagrin of Syrian activists), plans to increase the size of the observer group to 300 people, get better-qualified people, and improve their training. source

11 Jan 2012 20:49


World: Reports suggest fracturing within Arab League monitors in Syria

  • “It does not serve anything”: Those were the words of an unnamed Arab League monitor, decrying the lack of purpose and efficacy of the delegation in Syria. Just yesterday, an Algerian monitor named Anwar Malek left Syria, calling the effort “a farce,” a sentiment this anonymous skeptic agrees with: “The Syrian authorities have exploited the weakness in the performance of the delegation to not respond. There is no real response on the ground.” The U.N. estimates that of the over 5,000 people killed by the Syrian government in the last ten months, a whopping 400 have occurred since the monitors arrived. source

01 Jan 2012 15:31


World: Syria: Arab League-tied group recommends observers leave Syria

  • The killing of children and the violation of human rights law is happening in the presence of Arab League monitors, raising the fury of Arab people. The mission of the Arab League team has missed its aim of stopping the killing of children and ensuring the withdrawal of troops from the Syrian streets, giving the Syrian regime a cover to commit inhumane acts under the noses of the Arab League observers.
  • The Arab Parliament’s Kuwaiti head, Ali Salem al-Deqbasi • Strongly suggesting, along with the rest of Arab Parliament, that the Arab League’s observers should leave Syria, as the deaths of Syrians continue despite their presence. The 88-member Arab Parliament, while a sister organization of the Arab League that makes recommendations to the higher-profile group, its recommendations are non-binding. source

28 Dec 2011 15:19


World: Continued violence in Syria during Arab League visit

  • Do you trust this man? He is General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, of the Sudanese military. During his tenure in Sudan, he’s thought to have had insight (if not evidence of direct involvement) into any number of gross human rights atrocities. He’s now leader of the Arab League delegation visiting the ravaged city of Homs in Syria, and despite reports of gunfire directed at protesters during the visit, al-Dabi stated that they did not see “anything frightening” and that it “was quiet.” Said Omer Ismail, of the anti-genocide Enough Project: “Instead of heading a team entrusted with a probe of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by Syria, the general should be investigated by the ICC [International Criminal Court] for evidence of similar crimes in Sudan.” source

26 Dec 2011 09:55


World: Syrian violence flares up as Arab League observers arrive

  • bad Gunfire in the Syrian city of Homs killed at least 20, as rocket fire and machine gun shelling gained intensity throughout the Baba Amr quarter of the city, a focal point of opposition unrest.
  • worse This violence and gunfire came as observers from the Arab League — 50 in total — were about to land in  the country. A key opposition group said the observers must head to Baba Amr. source

19 Dec 2011 11:08


World: Syria, fearing UN intervention, finally caves to Arab League

  • This illustrates that the regime recognized they can’t completely turn their nose up at the Arab League and they actually do have some leverage over them. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if and when they do allow the observers in that they will give them the full, unrestricted access that they demand.
  • Economist Intelligence Unit analyst Chris Phillips • Discussing the decision by Syria to allow the Arab League to place monitors in the country — a move seen as an attempt by Syria to fend off United Nations intervention in the country. The UN totally has a reason to show up, too: Months of crackdowns on dissidents have led to thousands of deaths in the country, and Syria essentially ignored a prior agreement with the Arab League. The real question, of course, is whether Syria will follow through this time. source

27 Nov 2011 10:21


World: Arab League approves tough sanctions for Syria amidst unrest

  • Changes that Could hit the government and its people financially: Weeks after the Arab League suspended Syria over its handling of anti-government protesters, the influential regional organization ratcheted up the sanctions — with member countries agreeing to stop transactions to and from the country’s central bank and cutting off funding for infrastructure projects. The Syrian government has called foul on the sanctions, claiming on state television that the moves are “unprecedented measures aimed at the Syrian people.” Meanwhile, the violence that led to the sanctions continued unabated on Sunday. source

16 Nov 2011 20:36


World: Arab League may impose economic sanctions on Syria

  • 3 day deadline for end to violence in Syria, Arab League says source
  • » Suspended and sanctioned? That’s the possibility facing Syria in the days to come. It was last Saturday that the Arab League voted to suspend Syria today if there was not a halt to the brutal violence and oppression by the government (Syria had already flagrantly ignored an agreement with the Arab League to facilitate this on November 3rd). Should the violent oppression not stop within three days, the price would be economic sanctions imposed by the League, which could have significant consequences for the Syrian citizenry as well.

12 Nov 2011 13:12


World: Ten days after peace agreement, Arab League boots Syria out

  • Nov. 2 Syria, facing mounting criticism over its conduct in the wake of the Arab Spring protests, agrees to an Arab League plan to end the violence against protesters in the region. Despite this, little actually changes in the country.
  • Nov. 12 The Arab League suspends Syria from the organization after the violence against protesters continues despite the agreement. The country will remain out of the Arab League until it makes changes that respect the opposition. source