Syria 'surprised' by Qatar's call to arms

Jan. 17, 2012 at 2:31 PM
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Qatari Emir Favors Sending Arab Troops to Syria
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DAMASCUS, Syria, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- No more Arab blood should be spilled in Syria to serve a foreign agenda, the government said after rejecting a proposal for Arab military intervention.

Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said during a weekend interview for CBS's "60 Minutes" that Arab troops should go to Syria to stop the violence.

"Some troops should go to stop the killing," he said.

Syrian officials allowed a monitoring team from the Arab League into the country to ensure the government is upholding an agreement to pull military forces from the streets. Some members of the observer mission resigned in protest of the violence.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency notes "an official source" in the government was "surprised" by sentiments from Qatar. SANA reports that Damascus rejected the call for Arab troops, noting it would make matters worse and "open the door" for more foreign meddling in the country's internal affairs.

"The source expressed regret that the Arab blood is being shed in Syria to serve well-known agendas," the report read.

The U.N. Security Council received a new draft resolution from Russia on Syria opposing any firm action against the regime of President Bashar Assad, the Financial Times reported.

Western diplomats dismissed the draft as too weak in its criticism of Assad but Russia has rejected a call for U.N. sanctions, saying opponents of Assad's government must be condemned along with the regime.

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