Arab League

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Arab Nations to Form Joint Military Force

Saudi Arabia, Egypt will likely be at the helm

(Newser) - Arab League member nations formally announced an agreement today to form a joint military force. While details of how such a force would actually operate remain thin, the agreement is a telling sign of a new determination among Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and their allies to intervene aggressively in regional hotspots,... More »

Israel Trumpets 'Direct Hits' on Syrian Targets

As Syrian warplanes attack rebel town within yards of Turkish border

(Newser) - Following a warning missile yesterday, Israel has launched further attacks on Syria in response to Syrian mortar rounds that strayed across the border. Israel says its tanks managed "direct hits" on "Syrian mobile artillery" today, the AP reports. Meanwhile, dozens of Syrians have fled into Turkey after a... More »

Arab League to Assad: 'Safe Exit' If You Go Now

US, meanwhile, steps up non-military efforts against Assad

(Newser) - The UN Security Council may be preventing nations from becoming involved in Syria's civil war, but the US is increasingly pushing secret, non-military efforts to hurt Bashar al-Assad's regime, reports the Wall Street Journal . And the Arab League is trying to shoo him out the door. The main... More »

Syrian General, 84 Soldiers Defect to Turkey

Arab League urges opposition to unite at Cairo conference

(Newser) - A Syrian general and 84 other soldiers have fled to Turkey in one of the largest mass defections since the Syrian uprising began. The group, which has joined some 2,000 other former members of the Syrian military in a refugee camp in southern Turkey, included a colonel, lieutenant colonel,... More »

World Powers Approve 'Last-Ditch' Syria Plan

President Bashar al-Assad could be part of transitional government

(Newser) - Delegates from world powers approved a plan today to end fighting in Syria and support a transitional government that may or may not include President Bashar al-Assad, CNN reports. The first step: Both sides in the Syria conflict will be asked to recommit to a ceasefire. Then the UN and... More »

Arab League Hems, Haws on Whether Assad Must Go

At least 15 killed today as violence continues

(Newser) - Even as the Arab League met in Baghdad today to discuss implementation of a Syria peace deal, clashes between rebels and security forces continued, killing at least 15. With only 10 of 22 leaders in attendance, the League is apparently backing down from a call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad... More »

Bombings Sweep Iraq on Anniversary of US Invasion

And comes ahead of next week's Arab League summit

(Newser) - Car bombs exploded in cities across Iraq today, including Baghdad, Fallujah, and Kirkuk, in a spate of violence that both marks the ninth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, and presages the Arab League's summit in Baghdad next week. The attacks struck eight cities in all, killing at... More »

Arab Nations Poised to Arm Syrian Rebels

But US worries about protracted civil war

(Newser) - Members of the Arab League signaled this week that they're about to arm Syrian rebels. But American officials fear that strategy will thwart their more cautious approach, and could fuel a bloody, protracted civil war. Saudi Arabia and Qatar aim to aid the opposition "as soon as they... More »

Arab League Resolution OKs Arming Syrian Rebels

Homs shelling continues as UN warns of civil war

(Newser) - The Arab League has delivered a veiled threat to Bashar al-Assad's regime in the form of a resolution passed Sunday urging Arabs to "provide all kinds of political and material support" to Syrian rebels—and yes, "material support" means guns, diplomats confirm for Reuters . "We will... More »

Syria Continues Assault on Homs

23 reported killed yesterday as Arab League seeks peacekeepers

(Newser) - Syrian tanks have relaunched their assault on Homs, shelling the beleaguered city for a 10th day today after the government's rejection of the Arab League's attempts to launch a UN peacekeeping mission in the country. The League's push was today also rejected by Russia, which said a... More »

Arab League Wants UN Peacekeepers in Syria

Saudi minister: 'Bloodshed is a disgrace for us as Muslims and Arabs'

(Newser) - The Arab League called today for the UN Security Council to create a joint peacekeeping force for Syria and urged Arab states to sever all diplomatic contact with President Bashar Assad's regime, the League's latest effort to bring an end to the violence that has killed more than... More »

Russia, China Veto UN Resolution on Syria

It called on Bashar al-Assad to step down

(Newser) - Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution backing calls for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, despite international outrage today over a devastating bombardment of the city of Homs by his regime's forces. Activists said more than 200 were killed in the bloodiest episode of the... More »

Syrian Army Strikes Damascus 'Burbs

Situation looks to be unraveling near the capital

(Newser) - The Syrian military launched an offensive to regain control of suburbs on the eastern edge of Damascus today, storming neighborhoods and clashing with groups of army defectors in fierce fighting that sent residents fleeing and killed at least 12 people, activists said. Violence elsewhere in the country killed at least... More »

Arab League Halts Syria Mission; 9 More Dead

UN working on resolution, but Russia is balking

(Newser) - The Arab League observers sent to Syria to observe the nation's violence say they can't continue ... because the country is too violent. The league formally suspended its mission today, reports al-Jazeera .The move isn't a surprise: The mission was widely panned as ineffective, and some participating nations... More »

Gulf Arab Monitors Bail on Syria

Arab League says mission will continue

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia's Persian Gulf allies are following the Saudis' lead: They're exiting the Arab League's monitoring effort in Syria, days after the League's mandate expired . The move prompted the Arab League to again review and reaffirm its mission today, Reuters reports. The Gulf Cooperation Council said... More »

Syria Nixes Arab League Peace Plan

Calls for Assad to leave power are a 'flagrant interference'

(Newser) - Syria has quickly rejected a peace plan floated by the Arab League, today calling it a "flagrant interference" in the country's internal affairs. The plan, proposed as the Arab League's observer mission flounders , called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down within two weeks, transfer power... More »

Arab League Extends Syria Mission 1 Month

Will boost number, training of observers

(Newser) - Arab League officials say the 22-member organization's observers mission in Syria, which ran out Thursday, has been extended for an extra month. Today's decision has been made by Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to... More »

Time's Up for Syria Monitors

Debate rages over whether to extend ineffectual Arab League mission

(Newser) - The Arab League's one-month mandate to observe the crisis in Syria ran out yesterday, prompting a major debate over whether to try to extend the woefully ineffectual mission. By yesterday, the observers were essentially confined to their hotel rooms, the LA Times reports, their presence having done nothing to... More »

Syria Warns Arab Nations: Keep Your Troops Out

Damascus 'shocked' at suggestion from Qatar

(Newser) - Syria may have begrudgingly agreed to let Arab League observers into the country, but it's not about to do the same with Arab troops. Responding angrily to the emir of Qatar's suggestion that troops intervene , Syria's foreign ministry made clear it won't stand idly by if... More »

Arab League Boss: I Fear a Civil War in Syria

Would pose threat to 'neighboring states,' says Nabil Elaraby

(Newser) - As Arab League observers begin to bail on their Syria mission—frustrated over their own failure to end the government crackdown against protesters—the leader of the League says he's concerned the crisis could escalate. "I fear a civil war and the events that we see and hear... More »

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