Syrian opposition: Arab League’s decision lets Assad kill protesters

The Syrian opposition on Thursday criticized recent decisions made by the Arab League concerning the situation in Syria, saying they give the Syrian regime more time to kill protesters.

On Wednesday evening, the Arab League threatened to suspend Syria’s membership in the league if it did not end the violence within a three day period and permit foreign observers into the country.

Critics told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Syrian government may agree to allow observers, but that it would force them to hide the truth and would take them to places free of weapons and tanks.

Syrian National Council (SNC) member Jaber al-Shoufi said the decision amounts to allowing Bashar al-Assad’s regime more time to kill innocent and unarmed civilians calling for freedom and democracy.

“We understand the Arab League’s situation and the pressure it is under to support the Syrian people, and we’re waiting for it to finalize its decision to suspend Syria’s membership in the Arab League, and for it to recognize the Syrian opposition as the representative of the Syrian people,” said Shoufi.

SNC member Abdel Ilah Melhem described the decisions as "weak.”

“If the Arab League is unable to make critical decisions for the protection of the Syrian people, they should close the whole file and hand it over to the United Nations and the Security Council, to deal with it more seriously,” he said.

Regarding the decision of a number of Arab countries, including Egypt, not to withdraw their ambassadors from Damascus, Melhem said that “the decision issued by the Arab League is not binding… but subject to the sovereignty of each Arab country, although we expect the Arab countries, including Egypt, to support the civilians who are being killed and displaced in the thousands”.

He went on to say, “We hope these countries will take concrete steps against this brutal regime, withdraw ambassadors, cut relations, expel Assad’s ambassadors, and recognize the SNC as the representative of the Syrian people, as it includes over 40 percent of the opposition.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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