The Arab reaction to Syria's bloody crackdown on dissent

DAMASCUS- As Syria rules out any deployment of Arab troops on its soil to quell a bloody 10-month crackdown on protests, here is a timeline of the main positions and measures adopted by the Arab League and key members.
--AUGUST 2011--
- 7: Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador to Damascus and is followed by Kuwait and Bahrain. Qatar had recalled its ambassador in mid-July.

- 27: Arab League foreign ministers call on Syria for an immediate end to military operations against protesters.
- 10: Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi says he has reached an "agreement on reforms" with President Bashar al-Assad during a brief visit to Syria.
- 2: The League says Syria fully accepts an Arab League plan to end the bloodshed, including "a complete halt to the violence to protect civilians."
The plan also calls for the release of people detained during the unrest, the withdrawal of forces from towns and districts where there have been armed clashes and the granting of access to the Arab League and Arab and international media. The repression continues.
- 12: The Arab League suspends Syria until Assad implements the plan.
- 13: Supporters of the regime attack the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
- 27: Arab foreign ministers agree on sweeping sanctions against Damascus, including an immediate ban on transactions with the Syrian government and central bank and a freeze on Syrian government assets in Arab countries.
- 1: Kuwait follows Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in calling on its nationals to leave Syria.
- 26: Syrian forces launch a new offensive against the central flashpoint city of Homs, several hours after the arrival of the first delegation of a 50-strong Arab League observer mission.
--JANUARY 2012--
- 2-3: Calls increase for the observer mission to leave, with activists calling it "unprofessional."
- 8: Arab ministers meeting in Cairo give the observers the green light to continue their mission, after examining the first report from it.
- 11: League puts on hold a decision to send new observers to Syria after three monitors were slightly wounded in an attack two days earlier.
- 14: The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, says he is in favor of sending Arab troops to Syria to "stop the killing".
- 15: Arab League chief Arabi says a ministerial meeting this week could discuss Qatar's proposal. Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki says foreign military intervention in Syria would spark an "explosion" across the entire Middle East.
- 17: Syria rules out any deployment of Arab troops on its soil.

Wednesday, January 18th 2012

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