Assad Misses Arab League Deadline, Vows to Stay in Power

Says Attacks on 'Armed Rebel Gangs' Will Continue

Speaking in the wake of having missed another Arab League deadline to end his violent crackdown on protesters, Syrian President Bashar Assad today ruled out leaving power, and insisted that the attacks on “armed rebel gangs,” his euphemism for pro-democracy demonstrators, will continue.

Assad accused the Arab League of being a tool of the United States and other western nations looking for an excuse to invade, saying that the Arab League needed to dramatically change the agreed to peace plan, something they rejected.

Yet the Arab League deal was initially agreed to by the Assad regime nominally to prove that the claims of crackdowns were some sort of NATO myth. Having accepted the deal, they dramatically increased the crackdown and have begun condemning the Arab League on top of that.

The deal was to end the crackdown and remove troops from cities, as well as release all political prisoners captured since February. In return the Arab League would help the regime host “reform” talks with opposition leaders aimed at ending the protest movement. At the moment, none of that has actually happened, and the Arab League is scheduling yet another “emergency” meeting for Thursday to discuss the situation.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.