- Posted February 12, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Turbulence, violence in the Middle East
Arab League Unites Against al-Assad
The Arab League which united and petioned successfully last year against Mohammar Qhadaffi in Libya is once more uniting. The Arab League has voted to open up ties and actively support the Syrian opposition in its fight for freedom.
The Arab League is calling on the Syrian opposition to consolidate in a way that it can seen as the new government for Syria. Members are urging their varied governments to give diplomatic recognition to the opposition as the legitimate government of the war-torn nation.
At the same time Al Qaeda leaders are urging the Syrian opposition to not rely on the Arab League or the West, but to cast its lot with Al Qaeda to protect and defend them. Al Qaeda is also appealing to adherents in Arab League nations to come fight beside them for the Syrian people.
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri urged Syrians not to rely on the West or Arab governments in their uprising.
"You know better what they are planning against you. Our people in Syria, don't depend on the Arab League and its corrupt governments supporting it," Zawahri said in a video recording posted on the Internet. He described Assad as a butcher and urged Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to come to the aid of the rebels.
Last week the United Nations Security Council failed to pass a resolution calling on Basshar al-Assad to step down and make way for a new government. The failure came as both Russia and China wielded their veto power. The Arab League will be back this week asking for an United Nations Peacekeeping force to join with the Arab League in stopping the violence and protecting civilians and those who have been wounded. It has not been made clear if military action will be requested.
The Arab League threw its support on Sunday firmly behind the opposition mounting an uprising against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, and called for the U.N. Security Council to send peacekeepers to halt bloodshed.
A resolution approved by Arab League ministers meeting in Cairo called for "opening communication channels with the Syrian opposition and providing all forms of political and material support to it." It also urged the Syrian opposition to unite.
The resolution solidifies Assad's ostracism among his Arab neighbors and will add to diplomatic pressure on Russia and China, which vetoed U.N. action on Syria on February 4, to lift their objections and allow the world body to act.
It said violence against civilians in Syria had violated international law and that perpetrators deserved punishment. It scrapped an Arab League monitoring mission.
Syrian television quoted its ambassador to the League as calling its decision "a flagrant departure from the group's charter and a hostile act that targets Syria's security and stability."
"This decision reflects the state of hysteria and blundering that the governments of some Arab countries are living in, particularly Qatar and Saudi Arabia after their latest failure at the U.N. Security Council to get foreign intervention in Syria."
Earlier on Sunday, Tunisia said it would host the first meeting on February 24 of a "Friends of Syria" contact group made up of Arab and other states and backed by the West. A similar Libya contact group played a vital role in coordinating Western and Arab aid to that country's rebels last year.
"The Syrian people deserve freedom as much as their brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other Arab states that witnessed major political change," Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Ben Abdessalem told the ministers.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said: "How long will we stay as onlookers to what is happening to the brotherly Syrian people, and how much longer will we grant the Syrian regime one period after another so it can commit more massacres against its people?"
"At our meeting today I call for decisive measures, after the failure of the half-solutions," he said. "The Arab League should...open all channels of communication with the Syrian opposition and give all forms of support to it."
Most in the US appear to support the opposition. The Administration of President Barack Obama has called for al-Assad to step aside.
While Americans are supportive, most have indicated that the situation is best handled by the nations in the region of which the Arab League consists. The Arab League is stepping up to the plate.
From the Cornfield, I do believe the US must back the Arab League completely. The Arab states are standing up and making their voices heard.
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