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Syria: Arab League proposes sanctions amid deadly violence (VIDEO)

The Arab League proposed economic sanctions against Syria while intensifying violence reportedly left 24 people dead.

Syria news sunday 11 26 11Enlarge
A Syrian medic shows the body of Nafla al-Darwish, a 37-year-old and seven-month pregnant woman who was reportedly gunned down in Bayada neighbourhood, at a hospital in the flashpoint city of Homs on November 25, 2011. (Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images)

The Arab League proposed a list of economic sanctions against Syria, while intensifying violence reportedly left 24 people dead.

The sanctions backed by Arab League finance ministers during a crisis meeting in Cairo include a freeze on dealings with the Syrian central bank, the suspension of commercial flights to the country and a travel ban on senior officials, the BBC reported.

The meeting was held days after Damascus refused to accept observers into Syria to oversee a deal to end months of violence in the country.

The ministers said in a statement, reported by the Detroit Free Press, that: "Trade exchanges between Arab governments and the Syrian government are to be halted, except for those related to the strategic goods needed by the Syrian people."

The European Union and US have already imposed several rounds of sanctions against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, including a ban on the import of Syrian oil.

According to The Associated Press:

If the Arab League were to go ahead with the move, it would be a huge blow for a regime that considers itself a powerhouse of Arab nationalism.

Syria's foreign minister, meanwhile, accused the Arab League of meddling in its affairs.

In a letter to the 22-member organization, the BBC reported, Walid al-Muallem said that it was seeking to "internationalize" the conflict.

The Arab League has reportedly been planning to ask the United Nations to contribute observers in its Syria mission.

"What we understand by this latest Arab League decision is a tacit green light for the internationalization of the situation in Syria and to meddle in its domestic affairs," Muallem said in his letter to the bloc, Press TV reported.

In a letter addressed to the Arab bloc, he said it was an invitation "for foreign intervention (in Syria) instead of a call to avoid one."

The UN, meantime, estimates that more than 3,500 people have died since protests against the Syrian government began in March. 

The BBC reported that in violence over the weekend, 22 members of the Syrian armed forces, including six elite pilots, were killed, and cited activists as saying that at least 16 civilians were killed on Saturday, most of them in the restive Homs province.

Ynet News reported that 47 soldiers had been killed in clashes with deserters since Thursday.


A UN human rights panel has expressed alarm at reports it has received of security forces in Syria torturing children.

The Geneva-based UN Committee against Torture says it has received "numerous, consistent and substantiated reports" of widespread abuse in the country.