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February 14, 2012 1:30 pm

Arab League Officially Considering Arming Syrian Opposition

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Christians and Muslims at a meeting with Arab League monitors in Damascus, Jan. 17, 2012. Photo: VOA/wiki commons.

Arab League diplomats have confirmed to Reuters that arming Syrian opposition groups is now officially being discussed as an option.

With government tanks and artillery continuing to fire across the country on Tuesday, the Arab League is deliberating on the best course of action moving forward.  The group has already called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

“We will back the opposition financially and diplomatically in the beginning but if the killing by the regime continues, civilians must be helped to protect themselves. The resolution gives Arab states all options to protect the Syrian people,” an Arab ambassador told Reuters.

20 people have been killed on Tuesday, according the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In New York, a UN resolution is currently being drafted in coordination with the Arab League.  The resolution, which would go to vote in the General Assembly, is reportedly similar to the Security Council resolution vetoed by both Russia and China in early February.  It calls for a joint U.N.-Arab League peacekeeping mission, although as of Tuesday there is little expectation the plan will be implemented.

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