- Kraft recalls 96K pounds of Oscar Mayer hot dogs over cheese error
- Boy Scouts boots church as host after gay leadership dispute
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s new book raises 2016 presidential speculation
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn: Hillary Clinton won’t be first female president
- French president accuses Syria’s Assad of gassing his own citizens
- Jimmy Carter’s grandson makes gains in governor’s race in Georgia
- Yemen: Airstrike targets al Qaeda training camps
- Easter worshippers shocked as car rams church, injuring 21
- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
Assad insists no foreign troops will be allowed in
Qatar leader calls for Arab forces to deploy
BEIRUT — Syria “absolutely rejects” any plans to send foreign Arab troops into the country, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, as the death toll mounted from the 10-month-old uprising against President Bashar Assad.
Activists said at least 18 people died Tuesday, and six Syrian soldiers were killed late Monday near Damascus. The revolt has turned increasingly militarized in recent months, with a growing risk of civil war. The United Nations says about 400 people have been killed in the last three weeks, on top of an earlier estimate of more than 5,000 dead since March.
Syrian activists said most of Tuesday’s dead were shot by security forces or pro-regime gunmen. The reports could not be independently verified.
Attacks also were reported for a fifth day in the Damascus suburb of Zabadani, near the border with Lebanon.
The government rejection of armed intervention followed a remark from the leader of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who was quoted Sunday as saying troops from other Arab countries should be sent to Syria to stop the deadly violence. His remark was the first by an Arab leader calling for the deployment of troops inside Syria.
Qatar, which once had close relations with Syria, has been a harsh critic of the crackdown. Since the wave of Arab uprisings began more than a year ago, Qatar has taken an aggressive role, raising its influence in the region.
“The Syrian people reject any foreign intervention in its affairs, under any title, and would confront any attempt to infringe upon Syria’s sovereignty and the integrity of its territories,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The government claims terrorists are behind the uprising, not reform-seekers, and that armed gangs are acting out a foreign conspiracy to destabilize the country. The regime says 2,000 members of the security forces have been killed.
Syria agreed last month to an Arab League plan that calls for a halt to the crackdown, the withdrawal of heavy weaponry like tanks from cities, the release of all political prisoners, and allowing foreign journalists and human rights workers in.
So far they appear to have made little impact, and the conflict has reached a bloody stalemate, with both sides refusing to back down.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 18 people were killed in Syria on Tuesday, most of them fatally shot by troops or pro-government gunmen.
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- CURL: Shelly O first lady Michelle Obama comes in last
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Building a D.C. memorial for an endless war bumps into regulations
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- No rush: Bob Goodlatte waits for heads to cool on heated legislation
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.