The Arab League member nations from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have announced today that they are withdrawing all monitors from Syria, shifting their focus to pressing the United Nations Security Council for intervention against the Assad regime.
The removal of GCC staff will leave the Arab League looking to replace about a third of its monitors at a time when the Syrian Foreign Ministry has announced that it has agreed to extend the mission.
The move reflects a growing split within the Arab League between the Saudi-led GCC nations, increasingly in favor of a foreign invasion of Syria to install a new (more GCC-friendly) regime, and a number of other members who are trying to negotiate some sort of settlement.
The monitor mission has largely not gone to plan. Violence between military forces and defectors has been reported in several cities across the country. The mission was initially intended to make way for reconciliation talks, but as fighting continues and Syria rejects a “Yemen solution” pushed by the Arab League, the struggle to find some sort of amicable end-game continues.
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