x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Arab League leader holds Syria responsible for wounded observers

Nabil Al Arabi denounces attacks, which happened yesterday, injuring at least two Kuwaiti observers.

CAIRO // Nabil Al Arabi, the head of the Arab League, denounced attacks on observers deployed in Syria, in which some monitors were wounded, and said he was holding the government in Damascus responsible for their mission.

Two Kuwaiti observers were reported today by Kuwait state media (KUNA) to have been wounded in an attack in Latakia yesterday.

KUNA, citing a statement from Kuwait's military, said the monitors were taken to hospital where they were treated and have continued their duties.

"The Arab League denounces the irresponsible action and acts of violence against the League's observers," Mr Al Arabi said in a statement issued by his office.

"It considers the Syrian government totally responsible for the protection of the members of the observer mission."

According to Mr Al Arabi "some members of the mission were victim of violent attacks carried out by pro-regime elements in Latakia and Deir Ezzor, and from elements considered to be members of the opposition in other areas."

"Some of the members of the observers' mission were wounded," the statement confirmed.

Video footage on the internet purporting to show a convoy of cars carrying monitors in Latakia showed a crowd waving Syrian flags and pictures of President Bashar Al Assad surrounding the convoy and climbing onto the vehicles.

Rami Abdulrahman, head of the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which distributed the video, said he was not aware of any injuries in the incident.

But another video which activists said was filmed yesterday evening showed a white car with markings similar to those in Mr Abdulrahman's video driving slowly with damaged bodywork and wheels.