Human Rights – Syria buried 22 members of its armed forces Saturday, including six elite pilots, as the embattled government reiterated their mutual delusion that the 8-month-old revolt is the work of terrorist and foreign agents, not Syrians seeking reform.
But “with no sign of violence abating, an Arab League committee agreed Saturday on a draft of recommended sanctions against Syria, including halting cooperation with the nation’s central bank and stopping flights to the country. The 22-nation body will vote on the recommendations Sunday in Cairo.”
Should the Arab League proceed with the measures as expected, the regime would be delivered a devastating blow from which it is unlikely to recover.
Syria is under mounting pressure internationally to cease the bloody crackdowns that have become a hallmark of the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s rule. The U.N. has estimated that over 3,500 have been killed since the start of the unrest.
The European Union and the United States have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Assad and his regime, including a ban on the import of Syrian oil.
“U.S. and European sanctions are one thing, but coming from the Arab brothers and sisters, it is psychologically and realistically much more damaging,” said Nikolaos van Dam, a former diplomat and Middle East scholar.
Still, many are skeptical that the Arab sanctions, including the suspension of Syria from the Arab League, will be enough to end the violence that is pushing the country toward civil war.
Read more at AP.