BREAKING: Arab League Approves Economic Sanctions Against Syria

UPDATE, 10:15 am EST: The Arab League has approved “unprecedented” and extensive sanctions against Syria. The sanctions including halting transations with the Syrian central bank, stopping Arab government funding for projects in Syria, ending a trade exchange with the Syrian government and a travel ban on Syrian officials. The League’s plan specifies that the Arab bloc will still assist Syria with emergency aid through the International Red Cross and Turkey’s Red Crescent.

On Saturday night, the Arab League had devised a draft plan for sanctions against Syria that will involve the suspension of commercial flights, a ban on travel for senior officials and a halt to dealings with the central bank, after the government of President Bashar al-Assad failed to meet a deadline regarding international monitors visiting the country.

Syris’a foreign minister, Walid al-Muallem, accused the 22-member Arab League of interfering in its affairs and of trying to “internationalize” the crisis, which has taken the lives of over 3,500, with more dying every day. Two-thirds of the Arab League’s members must vote to approve the draft of the sanctions, which was created by the its Social and Economic Committee; the vote will be held tomorrow, on Sunday.

As Syria depends on its Arab neighbors for half of its exports and a quarter of its imports, the sanctions are likely to have an impact. Two countries are likely to enforce sanctions fully: Iraq, Syria’s second-largest trading partner after the EU, and Lebanon, Syria’s six-largest trading partner. But two other Arab League countries, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — both of whose embassies in Syria  were attacked earlier this month — are also major trading partners with Syria.

The Arab League had already threatened Syria with sanctions at the start of November, after Assad’s regime failed to withdraw troops and end the violent crackdown on protesters. The US and the European Union, which is a top importer of Syria’s oil, had already imposed major sanctions earlier this year.

France has proposed that humanitarian corridors be created to bring food and medicines to people in areas made inaccessible by military operations. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that these convoys might require military protection, while saying that they are to be humanitarian missions. At least nine people were killed on Saturday, most in the eastern town of Deir az-Zor. Defectors from the army also killed eight Syrian soldiers.

A report from the International Crisis Group issued last week says that the crisis in Syria “undoubtedly has entered its most dangerous” phase:

The government has relentlessly stoked fear of a bloody aftermath to justify its rule, even as its very policies have begun degrading the institutions of the state, presided over an economic crisis and dangerously exacerbated sectarian tensions.

In a startling disconnect, Al Dounya, a semiofficial TV channel, began a midday news broadcast last week by saying, “May your morning be as bright as jasmine in Damascus.”

“Fear is evident in Damascus, and you see it in people’s eyes,” said Makarem, 30, a businessman who gave only his first name. “More people are turning against the regime every day, but even those are afraid of what will happen next.”

Previous Care2 Coverage

Syria Misses Arab League Deadline: End of the Line For Assad?

Arab League Gives Syria Three More Days To End Violence

Saudi, Turkish, French Embassies Attacked in Syria



Photo taken at a demonstration outside the Arab League in Cairo in October 2011 by S a l e e m - H o m s i


John Duqesa
Past Member 6 years ago

La Russie va envoyer une flotte de navires de guerre en Syrie : Damas condamne les sanctions et poursuit la répression

Des dizaines de milliers de personnes se sont rassemblées lundi à Damas pour dénoncer les sanctions imposées la veille par la Ligue arabe au régime du président syrien Bachar al-Assad, a constaté une journaliste de l’AFP. Sur la place Sabaa Bahrat, au coeur de la capitale, les manifestants agitaient des drapeaux syriens géants et des portraits du président Assad en entonnant des chants patriotiques. «Le peuple veut Bachar al-Assad», « Nous sommes tes hommes, Bachar » scandaient également les manifestants.
La télévision publique syrienne a diffusé des images du rassemblement, en qualifiant la Ligue arabe d’»instrument pour exécuter le plan occidental et américain contre la Syrie» .

Tysu Jung
Tysu Jung6 years ago

A good news!

John Duqesa
Past Member 6 years ago

Ian F.

I live in Morocco and the Moroccans certainly feel their King, His Majesty Mohammed 6 as a far more subtle player than many others, aided as he is by advisors from all strands of society, including one of his most trusted advisors, the Moroccan Jew Andre Azoulay.

However, although they look on the events in Syria with despair, I have not heard them say that Assad is stupid. Yes, they would like to see some give in his regime, but they (as a people far more politically sophisticated than many give them credit for) do see that Assad is facing an armed insurection financed and aided from abroad.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago


Ian F.
Ian Fletcher6 years ago

A bit dim-wittedf this Bashar al Assad! I was in Morrocco just before their elections and everyone said, Arab spring, great news for everybody unless your dictator is stupid like Al Assad. The Morroccans consider their king Mohamad VI to be a lot smarter than other Arab rulers. Even if Al Assad were to implement elections now, he'd be pardoned, but no, the Morroccans say, he's too proud and stupid for that...

Marianna B M.

hitting the poor even more is not so smart

kelly rahach
kelly r6 years ago

The little girl in this picture has such clear eyes. Would that they never witness hatred, fear, or intolerance of any kind. Our potential on display here, our guts, our glory, our future. We can do that, we can go there.

Imagine that.

AbdulAziz A.
AbdulAziz A6 years ago

Vlasta M. You see everything in Monochrome vision. It is either Jewish / Zionist and is the best thing since the sliced bread and anything Islamic / Muslim is outdated and not worthy of a mention.

Please - Remove your blinkers - the Zionists control not just Isreal but also USA, Western European and other modernised world's politics, politicians, media, Hollywood, Banks and financial corporates.
They tell Obama, Bushes, Chennies, Romsfelds, Blairs, Sarkozi, Merckel etc what to say and what to donate to Isrealis.

If the Zionists of Isreal behaved like the Jews are supposed to behave then there would be no problem but they are sidelined by the extremists imported from Russia, Eastern Europe and US and Canada. They are given everything for free (courtesy of USA taxpayers) - houses, land, employment, guns and rockets, education, health care.

A small surprise the Jews and non Jews from the Arab and non Arabian countries wish to get there and make hay while the sun shines. Nothing to do with their belief... it all to do with Money... and everyone knows this.
Zionist get what ever they demand and there is no denying

John Duqesa
Past Member 6 years ago

Vlasta M attempts to convince us with C&P from the Hasbara Handbook, which is a revionist concoction of lies, of course. The assertion that Zionism began 2000 years ago is particularly hilarious.

Wayne M.
Wayne M6 years ago

I am very happy to see the Arab League adopt these sanctions and take measures against Syria. It is their concern and their problem.

We can certainly refuse to trade with Syria and be open to legitimate refugees from repression, but beyond that, United States and Canada would be wise to mind our own business. We cannot be the world's policemen.