CAIRO - The head of the Arab League has asked the UN Security Council to boost the size of a UN mission in Syria and give it expanded powers to protect people following a surge in violence there, according to a letter leaked to media outlets on Friday.
Images of the bloodied bodies of children and others massacred in the city of Houla in attacks blamed on President Bashar Assad's forces have shocked the world and highlighted the failure of a 6-week-old UN-backed ceasefire plan to stop the violence in the 14-month uprising against Assad's rule.
Nabil Elaraby, secretary-general of the Arab League, condemned the attacks in a letter to the Security Council.
"I therefore urge you to move quickly to end all acts of violence taking place in Syria, and to take the necessary measures to protect Syrian civilians, including increasing the number of international monitors and allowing them the necessary powers to put a stop to the violations and crimes being committed," Elaraby said in the letter.
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