Arab League to Discuss Suspending Syria

mlk-cross-LG.jpgThe Arab League has called an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss whether to suspend Syria, officials said, ramping up the pressure on Damascus to end its bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Suspension is unlikely to have a direct, tangible impact on Syria, but it would still constitute a major blow to President Bashar Assad’s embattled regime by stripping Damascus of its Arab support and further deepening its isolation.
Despite the growing international chorus for an end to the crisis, Assad has shown no sign of backing down or easing his campaign to crush the 7-month-old uprising. On Sunday, security forces opened fire on a funeral for a slain activist in the east, while forces elsewhere arrested at least 44 people in the capital’s suburbs in house-to-house raids Sunday and more than 900 people in the central city of Homs over the past week.
More than 3,000 Killed
Arab League officials said the meeting Sunday in Cairo was called at the behest of several Gulf countries and aimed to pressure Assad to halt the crackdown, which the U.N. says has killed more than 3,000 people since the uprising began in mid-March.
Many Gulf states, including heavyweight Saudi Arabia, already have withdrawn their ambassadors from Syria to protest the regime’s bloody response to the protests. Other Arab countries, however, have remained silent or reluctant in their criticism of the Syrian crackdown.
The suspension of an Arab League member is very rare.
The 22-member League suspended Libya’s membership earlier this year after Moammar Gadhafi launched a violent crackdown on protesters there. That gave the international community a free hand to intervene with air power to target Gadhafi’s forces.
Source: CBN News / The AP – Zeina Karam and Maggie Michael

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