The chief official of Qatar suggested in a new interview that Arab nations could send troops into Syria to stop President Bashar al-Assad's violence against his own people. The suggestion comes on the heels of the insertion of Arab League monitors, whose presence has not halted the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Syria, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
In a videotaped interview posted on the website of CBS' 60 Minutes, the emir who leads Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, says of intervention in Syria: “I think for such a situation to stop the killing, some troops should go to stop the killing.”
The CBS report on Qatar is here.
There had been little appetite for active intervention so far, the Monitor reports, but that could be changing.
Arab and non-Arab leaders have so far shunned suggestions of military intervention in Syria, which is allied with Iran and borders Israel. Some fear the conflict could ignite a larger sectarian crisis. Inside Syria, the conflict has become increasingly militarized.
The head of the Arab League, Nabil Al Arabi, warned Friday that Syria is slipping dangerously closer to civil war, according to the Associated Press. Army defectors have attacked security forces, and some opposition members have taken up arms as well.
Agence France-Presse reports that Amr Moussa, former head of the Arab League and now a presidential candidate in Egypt, said Sunday the Arab League should study the Qatari leader’s proposal. “This is a very important proposal,” he said on the sidelines of a conference in Beirut.
“We should not rule out any proposal from the head of an Arab state. Let the Arab League study the initiative quickly because the situation in Syria cannot endure a slow pace,” Moussa, told the Daily Star of Lebanon.
There were some unclear signs over the weekend about Assad's announcement of an amnesty for nonviolent protesters arrested during the past 10 months of protests. The amnesty was announced Sunday, but it was unclear how many — of thousands jailed — would be released from incarceration.