Conflict & Justice

Syria: Sanctions a 'declaration of economic war' (VIDEO)


Syria-reform supporters, waving Syria's old pre-Baath national flag, protest outside the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on Nov. 24, 2011.



Syria has called the Arab League’s newly approved sanctions “a declaration of economic war,” and further defied the international community by saying the sanctions only end up hurting the Syrian people.

"Let them study the history of Syria very well," Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said during a televised news conference. "Neither warnings nor sanctions will work with us."

The Arab League approved the sanctions on Sunday against the suspended member that include freezing government assets and Syria’s central bank, and travel bans for Syrian officials. Syria’s foreign minister claim more than 95 percent of assets have been withdrawn.

The League’s move against Syria is a surprising one, as they traditionally have not taken action against its members, Reuters reported. The move was an attempt to continue mounting pressure on the regime to stop it’s brutal crackdowns against government protesters that have killed more than 3,500 people.

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As the crisis in Syria continues, so does its isolation, as the Associated Press wrote:

“The sanctions are among the clearest signs yet of Syria's growing international isolation. Damascus has long boasted of being a powerhouse of Arab nationalism, but Assad has been abandoned by some of his closest allies and now his Arab neighbors.”

Syrian officials have skirted blame and insists the government is a victim of a foreign-supported insurgency of armed-terrorist groups.

VIDEO: Syria calls Arab sanctions a "declaration of economic war"

In a sign of growing rebuke from the international community, the UN charged Syria’s government on Monday of gross human rights violations for its violent repression against protesters.

More from GlobalPost: UN accuses Syria of crimes against humanity 

Charges against Syria's government include torturing prisoners, ordering detainees to worship President Bashar al-Assad instead of their god, rape and killing at least 256 children, according to the UN report.