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Arab League Considering Expulsion of Syria
October 16, 2011

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The Arab League will meet in emergency session to discuss the possible suspension of Syria, an action the League took earlier this year against Libya.

Such a suspension by the 22-member League is rare. In fact, Libya has been reinstated following the naming of the National Transitional Council.

Late last week, many thousands of people filled the streets of Damascus in a pro-government gathering. President Bashar Al-Assad still enjoys the support of many influential people and most of the military.

A few thousand people gathered in the streets of Deir el-Zour, a city in the eastern part of the country, to attend the funeral of an activist who worked for the Observatory for Human Rights. Security forces reportedly fired on the crowd to get them to disperse.

Government forces arrested dozens of people in Damascus and hundreds of people in Homs, a hotbed of protest in recent weeks.

Representatives of several nations that belong to the Arab League have voiced support for Assad and his government; equal dissent has also been voiced. 

It is unclear just how much would change if the League voted to suspend Syria. In the case of Libya, the suspension opened the door to Qatar's entering into an agreement with the Libyan opposition and with other nations' supporting NATO airstrikes against the government and forces of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. The opposition in Syria has none of that level of support, despite months of reports of violent crackdowns by the government and the armed forces that the United Nations says has killed more than 3,000 people.



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