| 15.01,12. 11:51 AM |
Qatar’s Emir Favors Sending Arab Troops to Syria
The Emir of Qatar has said that Arab troops should be sent to Syria to stop a deadly crackdown that has claimed the lives of thousands of people over the past 10 months.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani's comments to CBS "60 Minutes," which will be aired Sunday, are the first statements by an Arab leader calling for the deployment of troops inside Syria.
They come amid growing claims that a team of Arab observers dispatched to the country to curb the bloodshed has failed in its mission.
Asked whether he is in favor of Arab nations intervening in Syria, Sheik Hamad said, "For such a situation to stop the killing some troops should go to stop the killing."
Excerpts of the interview were sent to The Associated Press by CBS a day before it was to be aired.
Qatar, which once had close relations with Damascus, has been a harsh critic of the 10-month crackdown by President Bashar Assad's regime. The wealthy and influential Gulf state withdrew its ambassador to Syria in the summer to protest the killings.
Arab League observers began work in Syria on Dec. 27, to verify whether the government is abiding by its agreement to end the military crackdown on dissent.
But far from bringing a halt to the violence, the mission has coincided with an apparent increase in killings. A U.N. official said Tuesday that about 400 people have been killed in the last three weeks alone, on top of an earlier estimate of more than 5,000 dead since March.