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Protests Rock Syria After Embassy Attacks

Protesters attack Saudi, Qatari embassies after Arab League vote
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 13, 2011 10:11 AM CST
Protests Rock Syria After Embassy Attacks
Pro-regime protesters shout slogans and hold portraits of Bashar Assad during a protest against the Arab League decision to suspend Syria, in Damascus, on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011.   (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)

(Newser) – Tens of thousands of Syrian government supporters poured into the streets today to protest an Arab League vote to suspend the country's membership, as Turkey sent planes to evacuate diplomatic staff and their families after a night of attacks on embassies. Facing growing isolation, the Syrian government called for an urgent Arab summit to discuss the country's spiraling political unrest and invited Arab League officials to visit before its membership suspension was to take effect on Wednesday. "You Arab leaders are the tails of Obama," read one banner held by protesters.

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In a significant concession, the government said the Arab officials could bring any civilian or military observers they deem appropriate to oversee implementation of an Arab League plan for ending the bloodshed. But mere hours after the Arab League vote, pro-regime demonstrators in Syria assaulted the diplomatic offices of countries critical of the Syrian government, including break-ins at the Saudi and Qatari embassies and attacks at Turkish diplomatic posts across the country. Saudi Arabia condemned the attacks. After similar attempts at the Turkish embassy, Turkey sent planes to evacuate its embassy staff. (Read more Syria stories.)

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