Arab League to Press UN Security Council on Syria (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 04/27/12)
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The Arab League was set Friday to approach the United Nations
Security Council to take immediate action to protect the civilians in
“The Arab League will assign its Arab representatives in the UN
Security Council in the meeting set to take place May 5 to ask the
Security Council to protect Syrian civilians immediately,” a final
statement said after an Arab League meeting.
The statement reportedly dropped a reference included in an earlier
draft to Chapter 7 of the Security Council charter, which allows it
to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions
to military intervention.
Nonetheless, the option of invoking Chapter 7 vis-a-vis Syrian
president Bashar al-Assad´s 13-month brutal crackdown on the popular
uprising in his country has become increasingly common in diplomatic
French foreign minister Alain Juppe on Thursday said Paris was
discussing invoking Chapter 7 in Syria. US secretary of state Hillary
Clinton also made a reference to Chapter 7 in comments related to
Syria as well.
Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday, while not
mentioning Chapter 7, told lawmakers in Ankara that the government
was mulling the possibility of creating a buffer-zone on the Syrian
side of the border to protect refugees. Turkey´s border regions with
Syria have been inundated with refugees fleeing Assad´s crackdown.
Earlier on Friday, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi yesterday said he
had asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to expedite the
dispatching of observers to Syria to monitor the ceasefire.
“The UN is faltering on sending the observers to Syria”, al-Arabi
told the opening session of a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in
Cairo. “Violence and killing have not stopped in Syria”.
He proposed that Ban send military observers who are currently
serving in UN missions in the Middle East to Syria.
The Arab League statement comes two weeks after the UN-backed
ceasefire brokered by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan fails to
The ceasefire, which was set to go into effect two weeks ago, has
only been tentatively observed by Assad´s government. There have been
daily reports of ceasefire violations by government forces, and
sporadic skirmishes with rebel fighters.
Earlier this week in New York, UN peacekeeping officials noted that
11 of the intended 30-strong advance team of unarmed military
observers to monitor the April 12 ceasefire were already on the
On Saturday, the Security Council expanded the UN observer force to
300, the first 100 to be deployed within a month.
The UN said the rest of the advance team and the chief military
observer will arrive in Syria on next Monday.
However, the presence of peacekeepers has not deterred Assad from
pursuing his crackdown, leading Annan to describe the situation on
the ground in Syria as "bleak" and call for an accelerated timetable
for deploying the entire peacekeeping force.
There have been reports of government forces arresting Syrians who
approach the peacekeepers, as well as military raids on rebel
strongholds and dissident neighborhoods shortly after the
On Thursday, the peacekeepers re-deployed to Douma just one day after
visiting the city due to reports the government had raided the town
after they left.
Meanwhile, twin explosions outside Baquba city in Iraq´s Diyala
province killed nine people and wounded 21, according to Iraqi
officials. The tolls were confirmed by a medic at the Baquba General
The first attack late on Thursday was set off by a suicide car bomber
outside a packed cafe located in Garma village, near Baquba, the
interior ministry said.
Within a few minutes another bomb exploded inside the cafe. Being
Thursday evening – which marks the start of the Arab weekend – the
cafe was packed with customers.
Thursday´s attack came a week after a wave of blasts killed dozens in
the capital, Kirkuk and Samara.
The Assad government says the rebel SFA – which it claims
are "foreign terrorists" linked to al-Qaeda – are behind the spate of
bombings that have rocked Syria in recent months.
Military analysts say the SFA, which is comprised of Syrian army
defectors led by senior officers who have taken refuge in Turkey, do
not have the organizational or technical capacity to mount "al-Qaeda
style" precision bombings.
Instead, SFA forces have focused on mounting deadly guerilla style
hit-and-run raids and ambushes. Nor have they been known, unlike
Assad´s forces, to target civilians to date.
Syrian opposition figures and allied lawmakers in Lebanon charge that
Assad´s pervasive security police are conducting the bombings
themselves as a "false flag" operation aimed at discrediting the SFA
while continuing the bloody crackdown that has left no fewer than
9,100 civilians dead.
Al-Qaeda and its terror affiliates in the region have denied any
involvement in the bombings in Syria. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012
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