Thousands of supporters of the beleaguered Syrian regime took to the streets over the weekend to protest against the Arab League's decision to suspend the country’s membership.
In Damascus pro-government demonstrators attacked the embassies of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.
Despite being a direct violation of the Vienna Convention, the security forces did nothing to stop the violence against the diplomatic missions.
The governments of Turkey and Syria were quick to condemn the violence, with Turkey hauling in the Syrian Ambassador to inform him that then violation was “unacceptable”.
The Arab League’s suspension of Syria, which officially starts on Wednesday, comes amid mounting violence, with the United Nations (UN) estimating that more than 3,500 Syrians have been killed since the unrest began in March.
Last week, a human rights group accused Syria of committing crimes against humanity, while armed opposition to the regime, under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, is reported to be inflicting an increasing number of injuries and fatalities on pro-government forces.
The Arab League tried to broker a peace between the regime and the protesters, including publication of a peace plan on November 2, which stipulated an end to the violence in Homs and Hama, alongside an invitation to Syrian opposition groups to attend talks in Cairo.
Assad agreed to let League observers into Syria to watch the implementation of the peace plan, however, the regime’s brutal put-down of internal dissent has continued, leading some commentators to suggest Syria is descending into civil war. With more than 20 deaths reported daily, November could be the bloodiest month yet.
The League is now expected to impose economic and political sanctions on Syria.
In response to the suspension of its membership, the Syrian government demanded an emergency meeting, whilst denouncing the League as doing America’s bidding.
Britain and the US have already withdrawn all but essential embassy staff.
On Sunday, Alistair Burt, the British foreign office minister, said: “by allowing these attacks to take place the Syrian regime is demonstrating yet again that its first response is repression and intimidation.”
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