Assad mocks Arab League, vows to restore order in Syria

President Bashar al-Assad shows little sign of relinquishing power amid rising violence in Syria

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria scoffed at Arab League attempts to stem violence in a 100-minute speech on Tuesday, Reuters reports. While Assad mentioned the possiblity of a referendum on the constitution in advance of a continually postponed multi-party parliamentary election, he also derided the Arab League, which suspended Syria’s membership in November and has since sent monitors to observe Syrian compliance with an Arab peace plan. Eleven monitors were recently injured by protestors, an incident the Arab League says represents a breach of Syria’s obligation to protect them. “The Arab League has failed for six decades to take a position in the Arab interest,” said Assad. According to the United Nations, Syrian security forces have killed more than 5,000 people in an attempt to stem protests. Assad, blaming armed Islamists for killing 2000 security troops, said his priority was to restore order, by “hitting terrorists with an iron fist.”


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