Arab League Reluctant to Back Military Action in Syria
Despite blaming the Syrian government for a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of people last week, the Arab League has declined to back a retaliatory military strike, according to international media.
The Arab League, a regional diplomatic forum that has already expelled Bashar Assad’s government, said in its statement that it holds “the Syrian regime responsible for this heinous crime,” but the statement also appeared to suggest that the specific “perpetrators” were not yet known and should be brought to international justice.
The New York Times says the position of the Arab Leagueand the unlikelihood of securing authorization from the United Nations Security Council complicate the legal and diplomatic case for the White House.
The paper reminds that leaders of the Arab world are deeply divided over a potential Western airstrike against Syria in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons, caught between deep public hostility to any kind of intervention and a tangle of shifting rivalries and allegiances.
The US is said to be examining ways to attack Syria without the approval of the United Nations, where Russia would likely veto any military action.
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