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Jordan King: Syrian President Must Go
November 14, 2011

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Violence continues in the streets of Syrian cities, even as more and more of the rest of the world is calling for the resignation of President Bashar Al-Assad. 

King Abdullah of Jordan has added his name to the list of leaders who think that Assad has overplayed his hand and should step down. Abdullah's call came a day after the Arab League voted to suspend Syria from the 22-nation league, effective Wednesday. Syria responded by urging the League to enter into an emergency summit for further discussion.

The European Union announced plans to restrict Syria from accessing the European Investment Bank. Already, sanctions against Syrian oil exports have hit Damascus where it hurts.

The armed military presence in Damascus, Homs, and other large cities is smaller than what it has been. The government has gone some way toward an Arab League-brokered peace agreement.

Despite all of this, 40 people were killed in fighting between Syrian troops and army defectors in areas near the Jordan-Syria border, the latest in a growing number of casualties since the anti-Assad uprising began in March. Human rights groups say that the civilian death toll has topped 3,500. The Syrian government says that more than 1,100 soldiers and police have died at the hands of protesters.

Assad and his army and government continue to enjoy support of a large part of the population, as well as the governments of China and Russia, which are sure to veto any U.N. Security Council similar to the one that precipitated a no-fly zone and eventual NATO airstrikes against Col. Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya.

On Tuesday, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby announced the formation of a 500-person fact-finding committee, which would travel to Syria and urge both sides to lay down their arms. The committee would include military personnel, Elaraby said.



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