The ongoing civil war in Syria is the main topic at this year’s 67th UN General Assembly. Frustrated with a lack of progress, Qatar’s Emir has urged that Arab states lead a military intervention.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, said, “The Security Council Failed to reach an effective position. In view of this, I think that it is better for the Arab countries themselves to interfere.” He continued, saying that neighboring countries should act “out of their national, humanitarian, political, and military duties” to end the senseless violence in Syria.
The Emir cited the precedent of Arab military intervention, when forces from the Arab League were sent into Lebanon in the 1976 to stop the civil war occurring there. He described the move as “a step that proved to be effective and useful.”
Al-Thani added that the conflict “has reached an unacceptable phase” being led by a government “that does not hesitate to use all sorts of weapons against its people”. He continued, saying that intervention was required to “get Syria out of the cycle of killing”.
Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani had earlier said that a no-fly zone would be needed as “Plan B”.
It should be noted that Qatar has used military force against fellow Arab leaders, taking military action against Muammar Gadhafi. The government sent 12 Mirage jets to Libya along with a sizeable portion of its air force, and is credited with helping to take down Gadhafi.
Western leaders also spoke out against the violence, although not quite as strongly. US President Barack Obama said, “The future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people. If there is a cause that cries out for protest in the world today, it is a regime that tortures children and shoots rockets at apartment buildings.”
He finished, “As we meet here, we again declare that the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so that the suffering of the Syrian people can stop, and a new dawn can begin.”