Last updated: 28 January, 2012

Syria opposition seeks UN Security Council protection

The opposition Syrian National Council will call on the UN Security Council to provide protection from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, a spokesman said on Saturday.

The country’s umbrella opposition group has “decided to head to the Security Council tomorrow, led by Burhan Ghaliun, to present the Syrian case… and demand protection,” executive committee member Samir Neshar told a news conference in Istanbul.

Turkey, which cut ties with the Damascus regime, has hosted numerous meetings of the Syrian opposition and deserters from the Syrian army who are leading the armed opposition.

Paris, London, Berlin and several Arab countries on Friday submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that echoes of a plan proposed by the Arab League a week ago under which President Bashar al-Assad would transfer power to his vice president.

On Saturday, the Arab League suspended its observer mission in Syria because of an upsurge in violence there.

At least 193 people — mostly civilians — have been killed in Syrian violence nationwide since Tuesday, according to figures compiled by AFP from information provided by official sources and rights activists.

The 165 League observers were deployed on December 26 after Syria agreed to a League plan foreseeing a halt to the violence, prisoners freed, tanks withdrawn from built-up areas and free movement of observers and foreign media.

None of the clauses in the protocol was respected.