Syrians protest Arab vote; embassies attacked
Tens of thousands of Syrian government supporters poured into the streets Sunday to protest an Arab League vote to suspend the country’s membership, as Turkey sent planes to evacuate diplomatic staff and their families after a night of attacks on embassies.
The Syrian government called for an urgent Arab summit to discuss the deepening crisis and invited Arab League officials to visit before its membership suspension was to take effect on Wednesday.
In a significant concession, the government said the Arab officials could bring any civilian or military observers they deem appropriate to oversee implementation of an Arab League plan for ending the violence.
The 22-member bloc’s vote on Saturday was a stinging rebuke to a regime that prides itself as a bastion of Arab nationalism and left it increasingly isolated over its crackdown on an eight-month uprising that the U.N. estimates has killed more than 3,500 people since mid-March.