Monday, January 16, 2012

U.N. to Intervene in Syria

Top AFP Free Syria Army Bottom  Reuters
The U.N. is intervening indirectly in Syria by agreeing to train Arab League monitors, who have lost the confidence of most of the outside world.
More than 400 people have died since the League monitors arrived Dec. 27, the Security Council was told in a closed-door meeting, the Washington Post reported.
The training will begin after a meeting this weekend in Cairo, AFP reported. It was not clear whether any of the monitors already in Syria will be among those trained or whether they will be withdrawn, as previously scheduled Thursday.
A U.N. spokeswoman, Vannina Maestracci, confirmed the plan.
The decision, which followed a request by Arab League member Qatar to send troops into Syria, is one step short of it.
Pressure for a military intervention in Syria was growing as President Bashar al-Assad sent out mixed messages on his intentions. Russia appeared so concerned about what seemed likely that it introduced a third resolution in the U.N. in hopes of stopping it.
Turkish media reported a Russian ship delivered fresh weapons Monday. But with the country’s economy near collapse some members of Parliament, following an example set in Libya, fled the country.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who had already warned Assad to stop the killing, sent a message from Abu Dabi to the Security Council to deal seriously with the 10-month uprising. More than 6,000 are believed to have died, the vast majority opponents of the regime or those who happened into the line of fire.
Assad, promised a referendum on a new constitution in March and said he was issuing a countrywide general amnesty for those involved in protests. However, he also said he would use an “iron fist” to suppress his opponents, who he said were backed by Western governments and media.

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