Syria faces army defectors

2011-11-17 12:43
Beirut - Syria's president faces a growing challenge to his iron rule from home and abroad, with renegade troops launching their most daring attack yet on the military and world leaders looking at possibilities for a regime without Bashar Assad.

Also on Wednesday, France recalled its ambassador to Damascus in the wake of recent attacks against diplomatic missions and increasing violence stemming from the 8-month-old uprising. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe warned that "the vise is tightening" around Assad, and a government spokeswoman said Paris is working with the Syrian opposition to find an alternative to the regime.

The move comes as the 22-member Arab League formally suspended Damascus over the crackdown, which the UN estimates has killed more than 3 500 people, and threatened economic sanctions if the regime continues to violate an Arab-brokered peace plan.

The foreign ministers, meeting Wednesday in Rabat, Morocco, also gave the Syrian government three days to respond to an Arab peace plan that involves sending an Arab League delegation to monitor compliance.

"Economic sanctions are certainly possible if the Syrian government does not respond," said Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim.

Gamal Abdel Gawad, an Arab affairs expert in Cairo, said the League's vote suggests Arab leaders are scrambling to influence the type of regime Syria sees in the future.

"Regime change is unavoidable," he told The Associated Press.

The growing calls for Assad's ouster are a severe blow to a family dynasty that has ruled Syria for four decades - and any change to the leadership could transform some of the most enduring alliances in the Middle East and beyond.

Syria's tie to Iran is among the most important relationships in the Middle East, providing the Iranians with a foothold on Israel's border and a critical conduit to Tehran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon and Palestinian Hamas in Gaza.

Syrian allies in Russia and China also worry that the downfall of Assad would seriously hamper their interests in the Middle East.

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Pedal power to hit Kouga this May

Hundreds of adrenaline junkies will descend on Kouga this May for the annual action-packed MySpar Mountain Bike Classic.

 
 

Outdoor

Extreme Kiteboarding in Pumping Conditions!
The Arctic becomes an unlikely surfing hotspot
A romantic holiday to beat the winter blues
Why should you do a 5k?

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The moon moves out of your sign this afternoon highlighting the need to connect to your deeper emotions and absorb all the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.