Syria Misses Arab League Deadline: End of the Line For Assad?

Syria’s government has failed to meet the deadline to respond to an Arab League proposal to allow international monitors to assess the situation as protests, and the regime’s violent crackdown, continue into a ninth month. The 22-member League has called for 500 observers to enter Syria, which has agreed to allow in only 40; the League has also demanded that Syria withdraw security forces and pledge to halt violence. Syria had already missed an earlier deadline last Saturday and had been granted more time but the killing of protesters this past week has continued.

The Arab League has now given Syria another 24 hours to make its final response, leading to criticism that it has been too lenient on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The League is planning to meet in Cairo on Saturday to discuss economic sanctions which could include a halt of all commercial flights to Syria and a halt to all dealings with its central bank. Syria relies heavily on its Arab neighbors for half of its exports and a quarter of its imports; its economy has already been heavily affected by sanctions from the European Union and the United States. A third of the government’s revenues come from oil and tourism, both of which have come to a standstill since the uprising began.

Violence has continued with opposition activists reporting that at least 24 people, including a woman and child, have been killed and most in the central province of Homs, a center of resistance to Assad (photographs taken inside the beleaguered city are at the Guardian’s site).

There have been more and more signs that the uprising is becoming an armed insurgency. The BBC‘s Paul Wood was able to travel without permission to Homs and says that he saw a “small but steady stream of defectors from the official security forces.” Al Jazeera reports that, according to the Syrian state news agency SANA, 10 members of the armed forces including six elite military pilots were killed in an ambush.

Al Jazeera‘s Hashem AhelBarra was in a Syrian refugee camp in the Turkish province of Hatay when the news of Assad refusing to sign the deal was announced. He commented:

“People there were saying that this should provide the international community a sense of clarity, [adding that it has] to move forward and impose sanctions coupled with a military intervention.

“Refugees have been there for five months. They do not want to stay there forever. They know that for Assad’s regime to collapse, there need to be international intervention coupled with support to army defectors.”

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the Arab League’s ultimatum is Syria’s “last chance” and that he wanted “to say clearly we have no more tolerance for the bloodshed in Syria. The attitude of friendly and fraternal countries on this subject is clear.”

The United Nations estimates that over 3,500 Syrians have been killed in the uprisings that began in the middle of March in the southern agricultural city of Dara’a; Assad’s regime has claimed that Islamist militants financed by foreign countries have been the sources of the unrest. A recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report found that hundreds who had been detained said they had been tortured and, on Thursday, Claudio Grossman, the chairman of the United Nations Committee Against Torture said that not only have there been “rife or systematic attacks against [the] civilian population, including the killing of peaceful demonstrators” but that children have been subjected to torture and mutilation during detention as well.

Previous Care2 Coverage

Arab League Gives Syria Three More Days To End Violence

Saudi, Turkish, French Embassies Attacked in Syria

How Long Will the Killing Go On in Syria? (video)



Photo taken in Bruxelles in May 2011 by Syria-Frames-Of-Freedom


K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

John Duqesa
Past Member 5 years ago

Oh, and I might just add that these social policies were applied in a country that was subject to many sanctions and embargoes by the US and others.

John Duqesa
Past Member 5 years ago

Marilyn L.

I used to live in peace loving Syria. Yes, there were horrors going on and that is something I could not possibly endorse. But what I could support were the social policies which meant that the slums one saw in many other developing countries were not in evidence. Health care was good in the towns (variable in the bled) and free.

What is not reported is that the Syrian people, in the main, support the Assad government. Huge demonstrations a million strong in favour of the government do not get a mention in the Western press. The deaths of 1300 Syrian military personnel at the hands of alleged "peaceful demonstrators" are not noted by our media. Yet the same media slavishly parrot the "3000 dead civilians line", relying on figures from opposition groups, many funded by Zionist and US organisations, which have an axe to grind and a reason to exagerrate.

And there is a war of disinformation going on. You must've heard of the "Gay girl from Damascus" blog, which was found to be a fake and being written by a guy in Scotland.

The Zionist Entity and their lackeys in the USI would like nothing better than to see a cowed and crushed Syria,. the better to keep the Entity's illegal land grabs in the Jolan and elsewhere. And after Syria, Lebanon, which the Zionists consatntly attack and try to destroy. Without Syria, this would become easy. When this project is finished the final attack on Iran would be launched.

Can you not see this?

Siusaidh C.
Susan C.5 years ago

Thanks John - I sure know how that is!

I recommend this radio interview about Libya but very relevant to Syria. Max Forte, "Military Colonization: The Return of the NATO/Cruise Missile Left"

Max is an anthropology prof. at Concordia University, Montreal.

John Duqesa
Past Member 5 years ago

Siusaidh C.

Thank you for your informative posts. I have ben saying much the samre thing on the various Syria threads that appear here and get called a loony. People simply won't look at the situation in an analytical way.

Lynn C.
Lynn C.5 years ago

I agree with Siusaidh C., Michael K, and others who have said the same.

Allan Yorkowitz
.5 years ago

Get it over and done with. Are your words worth anything?

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago

The situation is very serious!

Siusaidh C.
Susan C.5 years ago

Look, let's just cut to the essentials. In order for the US/Israel (can't separate them) to attack Iran with less blow-back on Israel than is now possible, it is vital that Syria be smashed as a conduit between Iran and Israel's closest enemies. That may not be an absolute precondition of Israel bombing Iran, but it has certainly been the plan. So the present ramp-up against Syria has nothing to do with an 'evil dictator'.

Over a decade ago the US targeted seven countries for destabilization and attack. Here is Gen. Wesley Clark:

The final three are Lebanon, Syria and Iran.

Michael Kirkby
Michael Kirkby5 years ago

Google General Clarke on You Tube. There's several videos Clarke has made. One tells of how in 2002 Donald Rumsfeld called him into the office. Rummie told him that within five years there was a plan to destabilize seven Middle Eastern countries. The plan may have been deferred, but the same seven are the very ones in which destabilization is happening today. Pakistan and Iran were the last two. Is the latest closing of American supply routes by Pakistan the excuse that will be used to go in and take control of Pakistan? Syria of course is key to removing Hezbollah's backing and to neuter the growing Iranian threat and influence. Let's just say that Saudi Arabia is getting very nervous. WW3 anyone?