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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 14:39


World: Syria’s Assad pledges victory over “terrorist” movement

  • I belong to this street. We will make this phase the end for them and their plans. We are going to win without any doubt.
  • Bashar al-Assad • In remarks made to a pro-Assad rally in Damascus. This represents clearly the ongoing narrative by Assad’s government in dismissing the accusations of widespread, lethal violence against the public; the death-toll, while acknowledged, is suggested to be the work of terrorists rather than state security forces themselves (for an illuminating look into these propaganda methods, look at the state news agency’s website). The UN estimates that Assad’s government has killed over 5,000 civilians during the last ten months. source

03 Jan 2012 14:30


World: Arab League monitors leave Syria, violence ensues

  • The beat goes on: It wouldn’t exactly be accurate to suggest that Syrian security forces have been waiting until the delegation of monitors from the Arab League (with its very controversial leader) leave areas before continuing violence against the citizenry, sadly. Indeed, attacks and killings of civilians brazenly went on throughout the delegation’s visit to Douma. The monitors left Homs today, spurring another outburst of violence; the Arab League plans to review the work of the delegation, and their ongoing role amidst vocal criticisms from foreign governments, France among them. source

29 Dec 2011 14:23


World: Arab League monitors witness to gunfire in Homs

  • Not so “quiet”: As we mentioned yesterday, the leader of the group of monitors from the Arab League currently visiting Syria is a Sudanese general named Mohammed al-Dabi (whose record in that capacity has led human rights activists to denounce his role). Yesterday he insisted the violence stricken city of Homs was quiet, and that the monitors had not witnessed anything “frightening.” Today brought reports that, heading to the city hall in the capitol suburb of Douma, the monitors arrived as security forces opened fire on “tens of thousands.” 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

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

22 Nov 2011 15:11


World: UN passes resolution condemning Assad, Syria government

  • Some notable and important countries passed on sponsoring it, though. A committee in the United Nations has passed a non-binding resolution, which decries the gross human rights violations and widespread murder undertaken by the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Since the violent crackdowns began in March, the UN’s own estimates suggest that over 3,500 Syrians have been killed. The resolution, perhaps most significantly, passed with support from many Arab states; Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, and Kuwait were all co-sponsors. Of note voting against the resolution: UN Security Council members Russia and China. source

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

01 Nov 2011 14:13


World: Syria says they’ve agreed to Arab League plan to end upheaval

  • Peace can’t come fast enough: Syrian state media have claimed that Bashar al-Assad, still at the helm of a great deal of violence and death committed against the citizens of his nation, has agreed to a plan with the Arab League to quell the calamity. Specifics on the plan weren’t given, and are expected tomorrow. Syrian state media can’t really be taken at face value, however, so it’ll be very instructive to see what if anything comes from this agreement; the United Nations estimates over 3,000 people have been killed by the Assad government’s crackdown on protest and dissent. source

29 Sep 2011 11:28


World: U.S. ambassador to Syria pelted with tomatoes, stones in protest

You might remember the assault against U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford, who’s been critical of Assad’s regime, from about a month ago. That one didn’t involve stones and tomatoes. This one did. source