Syria: 14 dead as offer to send Arab troops slammed
Syria on Tuesday rejected any deployment of Arab troops on its territory, as proposed by Qatar to end the violence that killed more than 6,000 dead in the past 10 months. This Syrian position was expressed ahead of a meeting this weekend of the Arab League in Cairo to reassess the Arab observer mission in Syria, who was criticized for its inability to stop the bloodshed.
"Syria rejects the statements of Qatari officials on sending Arab troops and it categorically rejects such calls which would aggravate the situation, hinder the joint Arab work and open the door wide for the foreign interference in Syria's affairs," said the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.
"The Syrian people refuse any foreign intervention under any name. The Syrian people will face any attempt to undermine the sovereignty of Syria its integrity and its territory," the statement said.
"It is unfortunate that Arab blood is being shed in Syria to serve well-known agendas, particularly after the conspiracy hatched against Syria has become very clear," the ministry said without giving further details.
The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, said Saturday he was in favor of sending Arab troops to Syria to "stop the killing" in the country. The head of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabi, said the idea could be discussed at the ministerial committee of the Arab League on Sunday.
For his part Riad al-Assaad, head of the Free Syrian Army, which consists of deserters and claims to have 40,000 fighters, called in a statement the 22-member Arab League to "quickly transfer the Syrian case to the UN Security Council".
On the ground, 14 civilians were killed on Tuesday, according to Syrian Observatory of Human Rights. In the province of Idleb (northwest), "eight Syrians were killed by a device that exploded during the passage of their minibus on the road between Aleppo and Idleb", said the London-based organization. In the same province, a rebel was killed by a sniper in Khan Sheikhoune.
in Homs, the epicenter of the protest against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, one civilian was killed and nine others were wounded.
Four other civilians, including a 39 year old woman, were killed by gunfire in Homs, the source said. Meanwhile, in Aleppo, Syria's second city, security forces have conducted raids on the university campus after a rally the day before by students.