13 Feb 2012

Arab League seeks peacekeeping mission for Syria

3:08 pm on 13 February 2012

The Arab League is calling for a joint Arab-United Nations peacekeeping mission to end the 11-month conflict in Syria.

In a resolution agreed by its foreign ministers and seen by news agencies, it scrapped its observer team suspended in January as violence increased, the BBC reports.

The head of the League, Nabil Al-Araby, told the meeting in Cairo the time has come for decisive action to stop the bloodshed.

The League said it was ending all diplomatic co-operation with Syria and urging contacts with the opposition.

The moves come a week after a UN Security Council resolution on Syria calling that President Bashar al-Assad step down was vetoed by Russia and China.

A statement issued by the League after the meeting said it would "ask the UN Security Council to issue a decision on the formation of a joint UN-Arab peacekeeping force to oversee the implementation of a ceasefire".

Attacks continue in Homs

Reuters reports Syrian forces have resumed their bombardment of opposition-held districts of the city of Homs.

Opposition campaigners say tank fire is being concentrated on two large Sunni Muslim neighbourhoods that have been at the forefront of opposition to the regime.

An activist group says four people were killed when at least 34 rockets rained down on the Baba Amr neighbourhood on Sunday, Reuters reports.

Earlier, traumatised residents had emerged from their homes as Syrian forces eased a week-long bombardment that has killed hundreds and caused a humanitarian crisis.