'Do not strike Syria'

Arab leaders are pleading with Obama not to launch a military strike on Syria.

US President Barack Obama. Picture: AFP.

BEIRUT - Regional leaders in the Middle East are warning there could be a massive outbreak of violence in the region if America goes ahead with a strike on Syria.

At an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo on Sunday, Arab foreign ministers stressed that a military solution in Syria would not solve anything.

Arab leaders one after another have warned America not to hit Syria.

Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki urged president Barack Obama not to launch an attack Syria while Iran says the US should not even think about it.

Egypt's foreign minister also warned that Syria is dangerously enclosed in massive division and disintegration.

He says Syria is plagues by ethnic divisions and sectarian tensions.

Jordan has warned that it will not allow its airspace to be used for strike against Damascus and the Syrian deputy foreign minister says any attack against his regime will equal an attack against Iran.

Syria is warning it would attack US and Israel in response, that Obama and his administration will take heed of.

But US president continues to lobby support at home for a military strike on Syria following an alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus nearly two weeks ago which left hundreds dead.

The uncertainty is compounded by Obama's often strained and distant relationship with Congress.

On Sunday, still Syria hailed an "historic American retreat" after President Barack Obama delayed an imminent military strike by deciding to consult Congress.

(Edited Leeto M. Khoza)