Just days after the latest ultimatum by the Arab League to allow international observers into the nation slipped, the league today announced major sanctions against the Syrian government, complete with a freeze on their assets and a travel ban for several top Syrian officials.
Though experts say neither Iraq nor Lebanon are likely to respect the sanctions, the broad consensus over most of the Arab League is a significant blow to the regime as well as to the Syrian economy, already struggling in the face of mass protests.
As usual, however, the Syrian state media is downplaying the seriousness of the move, instead trumpeting pro-regime rallies held in the capital city of condemn the Arab League’s actions and insisting that it amounted to “foreign interference in Syria’s domestic affairs.”
Interestingly, Syria initially agreed to allow the observers in at the beginning of the month, saying it would disprove Western allegations of violence against civilians. Immediately after the agreement the violence escalated dramatically, however, and they backed out of the deal.
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