Arab news editorial: Syria needs help

Arab League should help end Syria’s unrest, just as GCC has been able to do in Yemen

THE more things change in the Middle East, the more they seem to remain the same for some. We all saw what happened when excessive force was used in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen — and now in Libya — to deal with peaceful demonstrations and how it only provoked greater popular fury, sparking more protests and eventually bringing down the regimes.

You would think Syrian leader would have learned from these apocalyptic changes to adopt a more restrained and reasonable approach to deal with the unprecedented popular unrest facing his government.

Nearly a hundred people were killed in the crackdown on tens of thousands of protesters who flooded the streets across Syria following the Friday prayers. And dozens more died in firings on funerals on Saturday that as feared turned into spontaneous, fiery protests. As elsewhere in the region, this is turning into a hopeless, vicious cycle of action and reaction. And to break it, President Bashar Assad will have to take some extraordinary and courageous measures.

He would do well to learn from the mistakes of others in the region. Syria has crossed the psychological watermark when half-hearted measures aren’t going to work, just as they did not in the case of Tunisia’s Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.

Categories: Asia, Syria

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