DAMASCUS, Syria, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The Arab League blasted Syria Sunday over what top officials characterized as a brutal war of repression against its own people.
The influential foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar chastised Syrian leader Bashar Assad for the ongoing violence and also took China and Russia to task for supporting Assad by vetoing a United Nations Security Council condemnation of the Syrian government's use of force on its own people.
Diplomatic sources told al-Ahram the Arab League would likely adopt a resolution ending international cooperation with Syria; however the resolution would leave the final decision on relations with Damascus up to the individual nations.
The Arab League met in Cairo on the same day the head of its observer mission to Syria handed in his resignation.
Moustafa al-Dabi told China's Xinhua news agency the conditions in Syria and criticism from the opposition made it impossible for the observers to carry out their mission effectively.
The observers have been unable to do much to quell the fighting in Syria between government loyalists and opposition fighters. Rebel leaders say at least 7,000 people have been killed in the violence that began 11 months ago.
The Syrian military shelled the rebel-held city of Homs for an eighth day Sunday, citizens said.
The Local Coordination Committees of Syria told CNN more than 600 adults and 59 children were killed in the last week, two-thirds of them in Homs. Early Sunday, citizen reports suggested three more civilians had been killed by shelling.
Also Sunday, a rebel identified only as Omar told CNN that government soldiers had started using civilian detainees as human shields on tanks in Homs, but that couldn't be independently verified.