Arab League Resolution OKs Arming Syrian Rebels

Homs shelling continues as UN warns of civil war
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2012 7:46 AM CST
Arab League Resolution OKs Arming Syrian Rebels
Syrian rebels are seen during a weapons training exercise outside Idlib, Syria, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012.   (AP Photo)

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 back the opposition financially and diplomatically in the beginning but if the killing by the regime continues, civilians must be helped to protect themselves," one Arab ambassador said.

The killing definitely continued today. Assad's forces shelled a town outside Damascus, forcing many residents to flee, and continued their assault on Homs' opposition-friendly Baba Amr neighborhood, with what activists said was the heaviest shelling in days. "The idea of safety doesn't exist anymore in Baba Amr," one resident tells the New York Times. The assaults come a day after the UN's High Commissioner on Human Rights warned that "ruthless repression … might soon plunge Syria into civil war." (Read more Syria stories.)

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