Arab States Call for Action in Syria
Arab states on Sunday urged the international community to take action against the Syrian government over a chemical gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians, Reuters reported.
The final resolution passed by an Arab League meeting in Cairo urged the United Nations and international community to "take the deterrent and necessary measures against the culprits of this crime that the Syrian regime bears responsibility for."
The League’s foreign ministers also said those responsible for the attack should face trial, as other "war criminals" have.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said condemnation of Syria over the poison gas attack, which U.S. officials say killed 1,429 people, was not enough.
He said opposing international action on the grounds that it was "foreign intervention" was no longer acceptable.
"Any opposition to any international action would only encourage Damascus to move forward with committing its crimes and using all weapons of mass destruction," said Faisal, according to Reuters.
"The time has come to call on the world community to bear its responsibility and take the deterrent measure that puts a halt to the tragedy," he declared.
The Arab League resolution promised to "present all forms of support" to help the Syrian people to defend themselves.
Syria's neighbors Lebanon and Iraq, as well as Algeria, all declined to back the text, as they have done with similar resolutions in the past. Syria itself has been suspended from the League since Bashar Al-Assad's government failed to abide by an Arab peace plan that aimed to end the conflict in the country.
The resolution was published as the United States delayed its military strike on Syria. On Saturday, President Barack Obama announced that he plans to wait for Congress' approval before deciding whether to intervene in Syria.
Secretary of State John Kerry was confident on Sunday that Congress will approve the attack on Syria.
“I can’t contemplate that Congress would turn its back on Israel and Jordan and the allies of the region,” Kerry said on “Fox News Sunday,” saying that lawmakers had a duty to act to uphold international norms against using chemical weapons. Kerry stressed that it was important to send a tough message to other nations pursuing weapons programs, like Iran and North Korea.