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Saudi, Turkish, French Embassies Attacked in Syria

Saudi, Turkish, French Embassies Attacked in Syria

After a meeting in Cairo on Saturday, the Arab League announced that it will suspend Syria from its membership and impose economic and political sanctions on Wednesday, November 16. The League also issued a statement saying that, if the violent crackdown against civilians does not cease, it will recognize the opposition Syrian National Council.

Supporters of President Bashar al-Assad attacked the Saudi Arabian, Turkish and French embassies in Damascus and the Qatari mission in nearby Beirut on Saturday night, with Saudi Arabia and Turkey withdrawing non-essential diplomats and their families. Pro-Assad supporters also attacked the Turkish consulates in Aleppo and Latakia, a port city on the Mediterranean Sea. Windows were broken, stones hurled and Turkish flags and pictures of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, burned in front of the embassies. Turkey is demanding compensation for the damage and says that it is holding Syria responsible for the safety and security of Turkish citizens. Turkey also warned its citizens from traveling across its southern border.

In France, the Syrian ambassador has been summoned to Paris to explain the attacks on French diplomatic missions in Syria.

Two weeks ago, the Arab League thought it had struck a deal with Syria to end the violence. But more than 20 people have been killed each day since then. Over 3,500 people have been killed so far in the uprising that began in mid-March; with so many dying every day, November could turn out to be the bloodiest month yet in Syria.

On Sunday, the Syrian government called for an emergency summit of the Arab League. An unnamed Syrian officials has told Sana, the Syrian state news agency, that the government will make a key concession demanded by the Arab League and allow its monitors to travel to the country to assess conditions prior to November 16. Iraq has offered for the emergency summit to be held in Baghdad.

The Arab League’s vote to suspend Syria was not unanimous as Yemen, Lebanon and Syria voted against the suspension and Iraq abstained, saying that suspending Syria would simply complicate the situation. The Arab League has heretofore been thought to be ineffectual and lacking clout, but its recent moves against Syria have been welcomed by the United Nations and Western Nations, which had been fearful of the regional effects of taking more decisive action against Syria. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, France and the US have all welcomed the suspension as Western powers have struggled to “craft a means of stopping the violence in Syria without causing a collapse in regional stability.”

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Image of Arab League flag by Flad via Wikimedia Commons

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22 comments

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12:38AM PST on Nov 17, 2011

Assad learned his governing skills at the knee of his father. Like father, like son --- cruel, ruthless, power hungry, intolerant, and belligerent, even with the Arab League. It is time that this vicious slug was thrown from power.
I am glad to see that the Arab League is taking measures instead of the West, although, based on Assad's actions to date, I doubt it will have the desired effect.

9:11PM PST on Nov 15, 2011

Thank you for the information.

6:50PM PST on Nov 15, 2011

Someone should tell Assad that attacking embassies helps the opposition. It's also illegal under international law and is equivalent to attacking the territory of the embassy's country. Under the U.N. charter, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and France could now declare war on Syria or retaliate against the 'security forces' mounting the attacks.

Correction, the Syrian Ambassador was not "summoned to Paris" (he and his embassy are already in Paris), he was summoned to the French Foreign Ministry in Paris (the equivalent of our State Dept). An ambassador and an embassy are required to be in the capital of their host country. Consulates and consular officers can be in other major cities (for instance in the U.S. there are many consulates in San Francisco, but all the embassies are in Wash., DC). I don't blame Care2, BBC World News mis-spoke in their article. I think they meant to say "the Syrian Ambassador was summoned BY Paris", which would make a lot more sense. In diplomatic jargon a national capitol's name is often used to indicate its government or foreign ministry.

11:55AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

Are you Syrias?

10:49AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

As a Turkish citizen I can not blame Assad supporters ..

10:11AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

Assad should go and he and his entire cabinet and army officers should be held accountable for their crimes against humanity. Lebanon really has no choice than to vote with Syria and Yemen well we all know what's going on there. China and Russia have shown their true colors and we should pay off our debt to China and tell them and Russia we will not give aid or do any business with either country until their own human rights record turns around 180 degrees.

There are signs the world is changing for the better and we, the USA should be very assertive in making that change happen.

6:58AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

The civilized world needs to act against the Syrian President. That includes Russia and China.

6:12AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

so sorry to hear that

4:22AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

My heart hurts.

1:21AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

The sooner that evil bully is out, the better it will be for all Syrians!

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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