Arab League Again Extends Syria's Ultimatum

Arab League presents Damascus with yet another ultimatum to accept observers or face sanctions.

Elad Benari,

Arab League Flag
Arab League Flag
Wikimedia Commons

An Arab League ministerial committee has presented Damascus with yet another ultimatum to accept observers to monitor the unrest in the country, Al-Jazeera is reporting.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani announced the new deadline for Syria to avoid sanctions following a meeting in Doha on Saturday, to discuss the measures decided against Damascus over its crackdown on eight months of protests.

Jassim al-Thani was quoted by Al-Jazeera as having said, “During the meeting we contacted Damascus... and we asked them to come tomorrow (to Doha) to sign” the protocol on sending observers to Damascus.

He added, “We are waiting for a reply. As Arabs we fear that if the situation continues things will get out of Arab control.”

Syria, however, has already ignored several ultimatums to end the bloody crackdown on anti-regime protesters, which the UN estimates has so far resulted in the deaths of over 4,000 people.

Last Sunday, the Arab League approved sanctions against Syria, which included cutting off transactions with the Syrian central bank and halting Arab government funding for projects in Syria.

Later in the week the League tightened the sanctions, adding 17 high-ranking Syrian officials to a list banning travel to other Arab states, including Maher al-Assad, commander of the feared Syrian Republican Guard and brother of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera reported, the violence continued on Saturday, with at least 25 people dead in fierce fighting between Syrian security forces and army rebels in northern Syria.

According to the report, opposition groups said rebel forces are increasing their attacks on security forces loyal to the government.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Al-Jazeera the fighting broke out around midnight in the northern city of Idlib, near the Turkish border. Violence was also reported from the central city of Homs and the southern Deraa province by mid-day.




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