Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said in an interview with Al Jazeera television that if current diplomatic efforts by international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi fail, Arab forces should intervene to end the 22-month-long conflict in Syria.
Al Thani also said, "It is not a question of intervention in Syria in favor of one party against the other, but rather a force to preserve security after over 60,000 people dead due to ongoing civil war."
The Qatari foreign minister made reference, in his proposal of an Arab military intervention, to the decisive intervention by the Arab League in 1976, shortly after the outbreak of civil war in Lebanon. Arab nations dispatched a force of 30,000 soldiers and peacekeeping forces to try to restore peace in Lebanon.
In September, Qatari Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani said, during his speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations, that Qatar called on Arab countries to intervene militarily in Syria because the UN Security Council is incapable of formulating a common position on the settlement of the Syrian crisis.
At that time, Syria's foreign ministry rejected any foreign intervention in any name, adding that the Syrian people would oppose any attempt to undermine the sovereignty of Syria and the integrity of its territory.
Meanwhile, more than 50 countries urged the UN to refer the Syria crisis to the International Criminal Court in a joint letter released by Switzerland's ambassador to the United Nations on behalf of dozens of countries including Britain and France, two of the Security Council's five permanent members.
"Horrendous crimes have already been committed during the conflict in Syria, but there have been no consequences for the perpetrators," the letter said. "In view of the grave concerns mentioned above, and the lack of prosecution in Syria, we call on the UN Security Council to urgently refer the situation in Syria to the ICC."
On the ground, Local Coordination Committees of Syria said Saturday the Free Syrian Army clashed with regime forces in 114 points inside Syrian territory, during which a warplane was downed near the military airport of Mezzeh in Damascus.
SANA news claimed that Syrian troops have captured most of the town of Darya, seven kilometers south of Damascus, after it was taken by terrorist mercenaries fighting against the government of President Bashar Assad. The Free Syrian Army said this is not true and that their forces are still there. They said their troops fought with regime forces, which withdrew after losing a number of tanks.
Qatar's call for Arabs to intervene military in Syria is a repeated call, which will be obviously rejected by Syria. If it were approved, which Arab country would send its troops to Syria? Is Saudi Arabia ready for this? Based on which plan will the Arab forces work? Will they be peacekeepers only?
The Qatari minister has to remember that during Lebanon's crisis Syria intervened, not for peacekeeping in Lebanon but to occupy Lebanon, which is considered by the Syrian people as part of their territory. The occupation continued until 2005. It was only a UN resolution that forced Syria to leave Lebanon, on the impact of the assassination of Rafik Hariri, otherwise they would have stayed there.
I think the Qatari minister should provide his time and effort to help the Free Syrian Army militarily, instead of issuing invitations that will not be accepted by any Arab leader.
As for referring Syria to the ICC, I consider this a waste of time. It is better for the international community to think of a way to help the Syrian people militarily instead of condemning the regime and calling for Assad to face trial. He is known to be criminal and murderer, but he is extending his power from Russia's and China's support. Therefore, no one can make Bashar pay for his crimes.
The Syrian people do not need money or food. What they need are missiles, in particular American stinger missiles or French milan missiles, for the Free Syrian Army to impose no-fly zones on the freed areas. This was evident through the Syrian opposition statements on their websites, in addition to my Syrian friends' confirmations on this regard.
I think the Syrian opposition's requirements are nothing compared with the support provided to the Libyan opposition. I hope the international community will pay more attention to these demands, which will help the Free Syrian Army heroes get rid of the regime that kills hundreds of civilians every day.