LIAM STACK and NEIL MacFARQUHAR
February 12, 2012
CAIRO — The Arab League asked the United Nations Security Council on Sunday to send a peacekeeping mission to Syria, and called on Arab nations to sever diplomatic relations with the country in an effort to pressure it to end the violence there.
As the Arab League sought to speed an end to a conflict that appears to be escalating toward civil war, several Islamist groups, including Al Qaeda, sought to ramp it up, calling on their followers around the globe to join a jihad against the Syrian government.
At a meeting of the Arab League’s foreign ministers in Cairo, after the League’s own observer mission to Syria failed to end the bloodshed, the organization adopted a resolution asking the Security Council to authorize a joint Arab-United Nations force to “supervise the execution of a cease-fire.”
The resolution also called on Arab League members to “halt all forms of diplomatic cooperation” with representatives of the Syrian government.