BEIRUT (Reuters) – The bodies of 17 men previously held by Syrian security forces have been found in the city of Hama, activists said on Saturday, victims of a deadly struggle between President Bashar al-Assad and those determined to topple him.
Turkey was due to meet Gulf Arab states later in the day to reinforce support for an Arab call for Assad to quit. The Arab League and Western countries are pushing for a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria, resisted by Assad’s ally Russia.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – An Arab observer mission will limp on in Syria after a Gulf pullout led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar but the two have also engineered an unprecedented Arab League call for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Sunday also asked the U.N. Security Council to endorse their Syria plan, which Damascus has rejected as blatant interference in its affairs.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Gulf Arab states withdrew their observers from Syria on Tuesday after it rejected an Arab League plan for President Bashar al-Assad to surrender power, prompting the group’s chief to call for U.N. help in ending Syria’s bloody upheaval.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem accused the League of plotting to engineer foreign intervention. Thousands of civilians and members of security forces have been killed in the 10-month-old uprising against Assad.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Gulf allies joined it on Tuesday in pulling out of an Arab League monitoring team to Syria, further damaging the credibility of a mission whose presence has not halted more than 10 months of violence.
Syria risks becoming an Arab and international pariah for its harsh response to an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in which thousands of people have been killed.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria on Monday rebuffed as a “conspiracy” an Arab League call for President Bashar al-Assad to step down in favor of a unity government to calm a 10-month-old revolt in which thousands of Syrians have been killed.
But a day after Arab ministers urged Assad to step aside, a senior Russian lawmaker said that Moscow could do little more to support the 46-year-old leader, opening the door to a policy shift by one of Syria’s few remaining powerful allies.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria on Monday rebuffed an Arab League call for President Bashar al-Assad step down in favor of a unity government as interference in its affairs, underlining its determination to defeat a 10-month-old uprising seeking Assad’s overthrow.
It was not immediately clear whether Syria would accept the League’s decision to keep Arab observers in the country for another month despite their failure to stem bloodshed in which hundreds of people have died since they deployed on December 26.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Bomb blasts killed 14 prisoners travelling in a security vehicle in northwest Syria on Saturday, the state news agency said, and troops fought rebels elsewhere as the Arab League weighed whether to keep monitors in place.
Syria’s SANA agency said a “terrorist” group had set off two explosions that also wounded 26 prisoners, as well as six police guards. It said the assailants had also attacked ambulances sent to the scene, on the road between the towns of Idlib and Ariha.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Arab League looks set to keep monitors in Syria, given the lack of any Arab or world consensus on how to halt bloodshed in a 10-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, an Arab diplomatic source said.
Sudanese General Mohammed al-Dabi, head of the 165-strong monitoring team, was due in Cairo on Saturday to submit his report for a League committee on Syria to consider the next day.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian forces have retreated from a rebel-held town under a local ceasefire, residents said, but deadly violence raged on elsewhere as a month-long mandate for Arab League peace monitors in Syria was expiring.
The head of the monitoring team was still working on his report and would not arrive at the League’s Cairo headquarters until Saturday, the day before Arab foreign ministers are due to weigh their next move on Syria, a League source said.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian forces have pulled back from a rebel-held town near Lebanon under a local truce deal, residents said on Thursday, but there was no sign of an overall halt to violence as a month-long mandate for Arab peace monitors in Syria expired.
Bloodshed is reported to have cost 600 lives since the observers began work, a period in which an armed insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad has increasingly eclipsed civilian unrest over his autocratic rule.