CAIRO (AP) - Trying again to stop the violence, the Arab League decided Sunday at a meeting in Cairo to ask the Security Council of the UN to create a force of peacekeepingfor Syria. It is unlikely that Damascus accept on its territory to deploy such a force would be constituted by the UN and the Arab League.
In a draft resolution, the 22 foreign ministers of the Arab League also called for a cease-fire immediately in Syria and demanded the lifting of the siege of some neighborhoods and villages imposed by the Alawite regime's forces, and the soldiers returned to barracks.
The head of the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, said he was no longer appropriate for the Arab League to remain passive before the bloodbath in Syria. "How long shall we remain spectators? It is a shame for us as Muslims and Arabs to accept" the carnage, he said.
In their draft resolution, Ministers also call on the Syrian opposition movements to unite before the meeting, on February 24 in Tunisia, "Friends of Syria", which bring together the United States, its European allies and Arab countries trying to end 11 months of conflict in Syria.
The Arab League also wants to provide a movement of opposition political and material support. It calls for an end to diplomatic contact with Damascus and to bring those leaders responsible for crimes against the Syrian people before international tribunals. She urged a tightening of economic sanctions already adopted by the Arab League, but not fully implemented.
The meeting participants also studying a proposal to expel ambassadors Syrian Arab capitals.
Moreover, while the Arab League was considering a possible revival of its observer mission in Syria, stopped in January due to the continued repression, the Sudanese General Mohammed Ahmed al-Dabi, who directed it, resigned Sunday. The Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby has accepted the resignation and appointed former Jordanian foreign minister Abdul-Illah al-Khatib as special envoy to Syria, officials said the pan-Arab organization.
No information was given about the reasons for the resignation of General Dhabi, but the Sudanese military had been widely criticized for the way he led the mission, the Syrian opposition demonstrators and many believing it was almost coverage for the abuses of the regime. He was also challenged for being close to President Omar al-Bashir, pursued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.
"The new mission should be totally different from the last," said Mr. Elaraby to Arab foreign ministers. "Past experience has shown that there could be no restoration of security without a political vision."
Moreover, the head of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims to support the uprising in Syria, saying the rebels could not depend on the West for help. In a videotape aired Saturday night, he called on Muslims in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to join the insurgency against "wicked regime, cancer" of Assad.
Repression continues also in Syria where the regime's forces continued to shell areas of Homs (center) held by the rebels. According to UN estimates, more than 5,400 people have been killed since the uprising began in March 2011 against the regime of the son of Hafez al-Assad. The figures are no longer updated since last January because, according to the UN, the chaotic situation in Syria, which prohibits any verification