Members of the Arab League will meet tomorrow in Cairo to discuss whether or not to levy sanctions against Syria after months of violence directed at protestors and a refusal to let observers into the country.
The United Nations is reporting that more that 3,500 have been killed in an eight-month long uprising against President Bashar Assad. The violence directed towards protestors is why the 22-nation Arab League had set a deadline of this past Friday for the country to let observers in. Though they had pledged they would (along with another broken promise to pull forces from urban areas), Syria did not, prompting tomorrow's meeting. As they have maintained for much of this year, the Syrian government is claiming that the demonstrations are the work of anti-government terrorists and foreign agents, not citizens seeking change.
While a list of sanctions has not yet been finalized, some of the options discussed have included stopping dealings with the country's central bank and halting flights into the country.
While there is skepticism that sanctions would be effective, they seem a better option than just letting things get worse in Syria. "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, told the Associated Press.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.