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Syria rejects Arab troops proposal

world Updated: Jan 18, 2012 01:27 IST

Syria on Tuesday ruled out any deployment of Arab troops as proposed by Qatar to halt 10 months of deadly unrest, as army defectors urged the UN Security Council to intervene.

"Syria rejects the statements of officials of Qatar on sending Arab troops to worsen the crisis... and pave the way for foreign intervention," the foreign ministry said.

"The Syrian people refuse any foreign intervention in any name. They will oppose any attempt to undermine the sovereignty of Syria and the integrity of its territory," it said in a statement.

"It would be regrettable for Arab blood to flow on Syria's territory to serve known (interests)," the ministry added, without elaborating.

In an interview with US television aired at the weekend, Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, said he favoured sending Arab troops to Syria to "stop the killing."

From its base in Turkey, the Syrian Free Army (SFA) called on the 22-member Arab League to "quickly transfer the case of Syria to the UN Security Council," in a statement signed by its leader Riyadh al-Asaad.

The United Nations has pledged to assist the Arab mission deployed in Syria since last month, saying on Monday it would start training the bloc's observers within days.

But the defector force is seeking much bolder action from the world body and urged the international community to "act quickly against the regime through Chapter 7 of the UN charter to maintain peace."

The Security Council's robust Chapter 7 provision allows for UN-backed forces to initiate military action, not simply respond when attacked.