Conflict & Justice

Arab League proposes sanctions against Syria


Bodies of people killed by Syrian security forces during protests in Daraa city, stored in a mobile refrigerator, May 4, 2011.

Arab League finance ministers recommended Saturday that heavy sanctions be instigated against Syria for its violent crackdown to civilian protests in recent months, reported CNN. The proposal for sanctions came as Syria missed Friday's deadline to allow Arab League observers to monitor the government's response to the civil unrest.

BBC News reported the economic sanctions include freezing the country's assets, halting dealings with the Syrian bank, suspension of commercial flights, and a travel ban on senior officials. The sanctions will not apply to essential commodities or remittances.

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According to the Los Angeles Times, the sanctions must be ratififed by the Arab foreign ministers, and that vote could come as early as Sunday.

This is not the first action the Arab League has taken against Syria and its president, Bashar al-Assad. Earlier this month, the 22-member body suspended Syria's membership, Reuters reported. The United Nations estimates that more than 3,500 people have been killed in the 8-month uprising against al-Assad.  

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Also on Saturday, Syria buried 22 members of its armed forces, including six elite pilots, reported the San Francisco Chronicle. The government, in a resounding refrain, said these deaths prove that the uprising is led by terrorists rather than Syrians seeking reform. At least 13 civilians were killed on Saturday.

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