International response intensifies as 70 people were killed in Syria

International response intensifies as 70 people are killed in Syria An estimated 70 people have been killed mostly in clashes between Syrian security forces and defectors in the southern city of Dera’a, in what has been the bloodiest day since the start of the uprisings. Meanwhile, crowds angered by comments by Jordanian King Abdullah urging ...

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International response intensifies as 70 people are killed in Syria

An estimated 70 people have been killed mostly in clashes between Syrian security forces and defectors in the southern city of Dera'a, in what has been the bloodiest day since the start of the uprisings. Meanwhile, crowds angered by comments by Jordanian King Abdullah urging President Bashar al-Assad to step down stormed the Jordanian embassy in Damascus, bringing down the country's flag. The United States and the European Union have also called for Assad to leave power, but continue to rule out military action. The EU has increased sanctions on members of Assad's regime, bringing the total number of people blacklisted up to 74. Elsewhere, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Assad that his crackdown would place him among leaders who "feed on blood." He stated that: "It is not among our expectations that the Assad regime meet all the demands of the [Syrian] people. Our wish is that it, which is now on a knife-edge, does not enter this road of no return." Meanwhile, the Arab League is discussing plans to deploy between 400 to 500 observers from Arab human rights organizations in an attempt to protect Syrian civilians. This comes after Syria's suspension from the Arab League -- which is scheduled for Wednesday -- though the government has appealed for an emergency meeting to challenge the decision.

Headlines  

International response intensifies as 70 people are killed in Syria

An estimated 70 people have been killed mostly in clashes between Syrian security forces and defectors in the southern city of Dera’a, in what has been the bloodiest day since the start of the uprisings. Meanwhile, crowds angered by comments by Jordanian King Abdullah urging President Bashar al-Assad to step down stormed the Jordanian embassy in Damascus, bringing down the country’s flag. The United States and the European Union have also called for Assad to leave power, but continue to rule out military action. The EU has increased sanctions on members of Assad’s regime, bringing the total number of people blacklisted up to 74. Elsewhere, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Assad that his crackdown would place him among leaders who “feed on blood.” He stated that: “It is not among our expectations that the Assad regime meet all the demands of the [Syrian] people. Our wish is that it, which is now on a knife-edge, does not enter this road of no return.” Meanwhile, the Arab League is discussing plans to deploy between 400 to 500 observers from Arab human rights organizations in an attempt to protect Syrian civilians. This comes after Syria’s suspension from the Arab League — which is scheduled for Wednesday — though the government has appealed for an emergency meeting to challenge the decision.

Headlines  

  • Egypt’s supreme administrative court ruled to allow former members of Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party to run in parliamentary elections set to begin on November 28.
  • Hundreds of soldiers from the new Libyan army were deployed for the first time to end several days of violence between rival factions near the city of Zawiya.
  • Israel will continue a freeze on Palestinian Authority duty payments of $100 million despite international pressure and concerns it will jeopardize Israeli security.
  • EU foreign ministers who met after the release of the IAEA’s report on Iran have ruled out military action for now and have postponed a decision on increasing sanctions until December 1.
  • Israel has committed security assistance to Kenya in its fight against Somalia’s Islamist group, al-Shabab, as, according to Prime Minister Netanyahu, “Kenya’s enemies are Israel’s enemies.”

Daily Snapshot

The Emirati Al-Fursan team perform on November 14, 2011 in the skies of Dubai at the Gulf emirate’s airshow, which opened the previous day with some analysts doubting that Gulf carriers, big spenders in recent years, will be doing much big-ticket buying. AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB (KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images).

Arguments & Analysis

‘Iraq’s federalist project reflects a resurgent sectarian conflict’ (Reidar Visser, The National)

“To some extent, the latest pro-federal developments in Salahaddin probably reflect opportunism among local politicians similar to that elsewhere in Iraq. But they are also an expression of sheer exasperation with the political process in Sunni-majority areas. Mr Al Maliki may have one last chance to win significant Sunni support by settling the question of the security ministries including the defence portfolio in a timely fashion, but time is running out. His initial response has been dangerously reminiscent of the vaguely camouflaged anti-Sunni political rhetoric used by Shiite hardliners prior to the last parliamentary elections. Unless Mr Al Maliki can stand up against such tendencies, he cannot be prime minister for all of Iraq.”

‘Qatar wields an outsize influence in Arab politics’ (Anthony Shadid, New York Times)

“Maintaining channels with an array of forces has proven a cornerstone of Qatar’s policy. It hosts two American bases, with more than 13,000 personnel; in Lebanon, the emir was welcomed as a hero by Hezbollah’s supporters last year for helping rebuild towns Israel destroyed in 2006. Unlike Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar enjoys close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, in its various incarnations in Libya, Syria and Egypt, as well as with figures like Rachid al-Ghannouchi, the Tunisian Islamist, all of whom are almost certain to play a crucial role in the next generation of Arab politics. But it also has what might be described as the Qatari equivalent of soft power: the influence of Al Jazeera, which the emir founded and finances, and which more and more reflects Qatari foreign policy; ties with Mr. Qaradawi, who has his own network of prominent Islamists in the region; and the emir’s own knack for involving Qatar in conflicts as far-flung as Afghanistan and the Darfur region of Sudan.”

‘The Iranian-American game of chicken’ (Reza Marashi, The National Interest)

“Both Iran and the United States are playing an extremely dangerous game based on misperceptions. Each side seems to be misreading the strength and resolve of the other. In this game of chicken, small errors in judgment can result in military confrontation. And in game theory, the opponent that seems “irrational” or “crazy” can win. That perception in Tehran could heighten the danger. For the Islamic Republic, this has been the underpinning of its approach since Ahmadinejad assumed the presidency in 2005. It is also one reason why the Iranian system did not try to contain him until recently.”

Latest from the Channel

‘A secure, undisclosed location’ by Nicholas Blanford

‘When Egyptian-Americans vote’ by Jason Stern

‘The nuclear options’ by James Traub

<p>Mary Casey-Baker is the editor of Foreign Policy’s Middle East Daily Brief, as well as the assistant director of public affairs at the Project on Middle East Political Science and assistant editor of The Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post. </p> Twitter: @casey_mary

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