International frustration is growing over the Syrian government’s lack of compliance with Kofi Annan’s peace initiative.
Even though a handful of UN monitors are already in the country to observe a shaky ceasefire, Damascus has not signed the Security Council protocol allowing them to carry out their job and guaranteeing their safety.
And there was more frustration among Arab League members meeting in Qatar. With shelling continuing in several cities the issue of arming Syrian rebels arose.
Qatari Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jabr al-Thani told a euronews reporter: “We know very well that self-defence is legitimate. But to answer questions about Qatar arming the opposition, I will say that we have not yet armed anybody. If the situation is not resolved soon, we have to help the Syrian people defend themselves.”
Although the truce has been observed in parts of Syria since President Bashar al Assad agreed to honour it last week, in strong opposition areas such as Homs and Hama the violence on both sides has continued.
In a separate development, President Assad’s wife has now become a target of international pressure with a Syria appeal video having been made by the spouses of UN envoys calling on her to ‘stop her husband’ and to ‘stand up for peace’.