Arabs may take Syria peace plan to UN
In a battle of wills with Syria, the Arab League meets on Wednesday to decide on its next step after a call for troop withdrawal from cities remain unheeded.
December 18, 2011 3:32 by Reuters
…Syria could descend into civil war.
Two days ago army deserters killed 27 soldiers and security personnel in the southern province ofDeraa, an activist group said. On Saturday at least 24 people were killed, half of them in the province ofHoms, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
It said another eight people were killed in the southern province of Deraa after army deserters clashed with Assad’s forces carrying out raids in the region.
A delegation from Shi’ite-led Iraq, which opposed the Arab League sanctions and fears unrest in Syriawill spill across the border and upset its own delicate sectarian balance, stopped in Damascus on Saturday before travelling on to Cairo.
Assad met the Iraqi delegation, which included National Security Adviser Faleh al-Fayad, and “affirmed that Syria dealt positively with all proposals submitted to it”, the official news agency SANA reported.
“The delegation will present details of the Iraqi initiative to League officials on solving the Syrian crisis after positive discussions which we had with President Bashar al-Assad during our visit to Syria,” a member of the team said on arrival in the Egyptian capital, the Arab League headquarters.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s media adviser, Ali al-Moussawi, earlier told Reuters in Baghdad that the meeting in Damascus was “very good”.
The main exile opposition Syrian National Council was meeting in Tunisia on the first anniversary of the self-immolation of a jobless Tunisian graduate Mohamed Bouazizi, the incident that set off a wave of revolts around the Arab world.
Syrian protesters have expressed growing frustration that the Arab League, which surprised many when it suspended Syria and subsequently announced sanctions against Damascus, has since then extended the deadline for Syrian compliance several times.
Hundreds of thousands demonstrated on Friday, according to the British-based Observatory, under the slogan of “The Arab League is killing us”. (By Dominic Evans; Additional reporting by Waleed Ibrahim in Baghdad and Sami Aboudi in Dubai; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
*Syrians living in Istanbul and Civil Society Organizations protest the regime of Bashar Essad in front of Syrian Consulate building on May 13, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.
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