Gulf States Will Pull Observers from Syria: Official

Mideast Syria

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates plan to withdraw Arab League monitors from Syria, an official told The Associated Press Tuesday. Members of the group had previously complained that the Arab League monitors' mission was failing to quell Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's brutal crackdown on uprisings. The monitors, said Qatar's prime minister earlier this month, were being misled and shielded by their hosts and were giving cover to the regime; Qatar has looked instead to the United Nations to intervene in Syria. On Monday, the Syrian regime slammed a new Arab League plan for Assad to hand over power to a deputy as a "conspiracy" and a "flagrant interference in [Syria's] internal affairs." By U.N. estimates, 5,000 people have died since March in the Syrian response to the unrest there, which the regime claims is the work of terrorists and gangs.

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