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Arab League Boss: I Fear a Civil War in Syria

Would pose threat to 'neighboring states,' says Nabil Elaraby
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2012 8:53 AM CST

(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 about now could lead to a civil war," said Nabil Elaraby in an interview with Egyptian TV. What's more, "any problems in Syria will have consequences for the neighboring states."

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Still, he said, there's "no doubt that the pace of killing has fallen with the presence of the observers." Monitors are set to report on their observations next week to foreign ministers, who "will decide whether there is any benefit in continuing or not," Elaraby said. But opposition leaders say the observers have simply handed President Bashar al-Assad extra time to clash with protesters. Reuters spoke to one of the departed monitors, who described his colleagues' "anger." "The mission does not serve the citizens," added another. "It does not serve anything." (Read more Syria stories.)

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