Arab League chief says Syria site of war crimes


Nabil Elaraby, Secretary-General of the Arab League, gives his first press conference at the Arab League on July 19, 2011, in Cairo.



Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said what’s happening in Aleppo, Syria amounts to war crimes and that his organization supports the UN’s call for an emergency meeting, Egyptian media reported today.

With the arrival of tanks and reinforcements, Syria’s second city has been the site of continued fighting between rebels and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

“Dr. Nabil Elaraby, Secretary-General of the Arab League, described what is happening in Syria, especially the city of Aleppo, as amounting to war crimes, and warned that perpetrators of these crimes will be held internationally accountable,” said MENA, Egypt’s state news agency, according to Reuters.

Elaraby is the former Egyptian foreign minister.

The Arab League also plans to send envoys to Russia and China in an effort to break a stalemate within the UN Security Council over Syria’s civil war, CNN said.

More from GlobalPost: Inside Syria: The Battle for Aleppo

Russia and China have vetoed numerous UN resolutions surrounding the civil war.

Aleppo became the focus of fighting after bombs killed several key figures inside the Assad inner circle earlier this month in Damascus.

As the Arab League accusations surfaced today in Egypt, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said from Iran that rebels are doomed, according to CNN.

“Since last week, (the opposition) planned for whatever they called the ‘great Damascus battle,’ but they have failed after one week,” Moallem said. “That’s why they moved to Aleppo, and I can assure you that they will fail.”

The foreign minister also accused the international community of conspiring against Syria.

“I can tell you that we are facing a global war against Syria, and as a proud Syrian I can tell you that it is a great honor to be part of a great country that is facing a ferocious attack by certain countries,” Moallem said.

While Assad declared victory in Damascus, fighting continued in Aleppo, The Associated Press reported.

Heavy shelling led the Syrian National Council to issue a new plea for weapons and assistance.

“If the international community cannot act, they should support the opposition with anti-tanks missiles and anti-aircraft rockets,” Abdel Basset Sida told the Gulf News, according to the AP. “We seek international supporters to arm our uprising against the regime.”

More from GlobalPost: Russian officials deny asylum plans for Assad