Gulf Arab Monitors Bail on Syria

Arab League says mission will continue
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2012 9:27 AM CST
Saudi Arabia, Gulf Arab Monitors Exit Arab League Monitoring Effort in Syria
An anti-Syrian regime protester flashes victory sign as he marches during a demonstration at the mountain resort town of Zabadani, Syria.   (AP Photo)

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 in withdrawing that it's "certain the bloodshed and killing of innocents would continue, and that the Syrian regime would not abide by the Arab League's resolutions."

Arab League head Nabil Elaraby cited "some progress," but acknowledged that "there has not been immediate or complete implementation as the Arab initiative requires." Meanwhile, violence continues, with Syria's Local Coordination Committees reporting 36 killed by security forces yesterday; three were children. The group hammered the Arab League mission chief, Mohammed al-Dabi, for confusing "butcher and victim" in a report that pointed to attacks by both opposition and government forces. Dabi, the committees said, "blurred the monumental hardship that millions of Syrians experience every day while they rise to reach freedom, dignity, democracy, and a wise system of governance." (Read more Syria stories.)

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