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Arab League Reconsiders Observer Mission

The Arab League is rethinking its observer mission and may decide to pull its monitors from Syria.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 1/12/2012, 4:07 PM

The Arab League is rethinking its observer mission in Syria, and may decide to pull its monitors from the country altogether.

An attack on observers Monday in the city of Latakiya made it increasingly unlikely the League would send any more monitors to the country, sources said "until the situation is suitable" for them to return.

Arab League secretary-general Nabil Elaraby told the Egyptian-based Hayat television news channel meanwhile that the situation in Syria is growing ever more complex -- and that circumstances are making it less likely that monitors already there would remain.

"Syria does not spur incentives for other countries that sell weapons to intervene. It does not have oil," Elaraby told the Egyptian news channel.

"There is also U.S. elections," he pointed out."Therefore, I do not think [the Americans] are interested in entering into a military venture in Syria."

The United Nations Security Council, he added, will eventually intervene with or without the Arab League, given the reports coming out of the country. However, the Arab League has not yet reached the conclusion that it is time to call in the U.N.

A French reporter was killed in a rocket attack just hours after President Bashar al-Assad vowed to defeat the "conspiracy" against his regime.