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Arab League’s more sanctions to Assad, Syria civilians still suffering with non-stop killings

 Arab League members, with from left to right at front, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Morocco's Foreign Minister Taib Fassi Fihri, Qatari...
 The Arab League foreign ministers meet in Rabat, Morocco, Wednesday, Nov 16. 2011. Foreign ministers from the 22-member Arab League on Wednesday are ...
 Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem speaks during a press conference, in Damascus, Syria, Sunday Nov. 20, 2011. Syria's foreign minister has att...

Morocco Arab League Syria

Arab League members, with from left to right at front, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Morocco's Foreign Minister Taib Fassi Fihri, Qatari...

Morocco Arab League Syria

The Arab League foreign ministers meet in Rabat, Morocco, Wednesday, Nov 16. 2011. Foreign ministers from the 22-member Arab League on Wednesday are ...

Mideast Syria

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem speaks during a press conference, in Damascus, Syria, Sunday Nov. 20, 2011. Syria's foreign minister has att...

Arab foreign ministers called Thursday for Syria to agree to admit international monitors within 24 hours or face economic sanctions, due to the bloodiest non-stop killings from President Bashar al-Assad, while activists reported new clashes between army troops and defectors that left 29 dead across the country.

“Protection of civilians in Syria is an increasingly urgent and important aspect of responding to the events in country,” said Maja Kocijancic, a European Union spokeswoman, in a statement.

The announcement from the Arab League ministers came after theEuropean Union said Thursday that safeguarding civilians against President Bashar al-Assad’s ferocious crackdown had become a priority.

The league said that if Syria refused to admit the monitors, it would meet again on Saturday to discuss sanctions that could include the suspension of all trade except for essential humanitarian goods, a ban on flights to Syria, a travel ban on Syrian officials, and the freezing of all transactions with the central bank and of all Arab economic projects under way in Syria.

Under a November 2 Arab League initiative, Syria agreed to withdraw troops from urban centres, release political prisoners, start a dialogue with the opposition and allow monitors and international media into the country.
Since then hundreds of people, civilians, security forces and army deserters, have been killed as the unrest which the United Nations says has killed 3500 people since March continued unabated.

But the European Union stopped short of endorsing a proposal floated Wednesday by Foreign Minister Alain Juppé of France to set up humanitarian corridors — with or without the consent of the Syrian government — to allow aid groups into the country. Such a step would be a major escalation of foreign involvement in what has become one of the bloodiest of the Arab Spring uprisings.

They could also decided to stop commercial trade with the Syrian government "with the exception of strategic commodities so as not to impact the Syrian people," the statement said.

If enacted, the new penalties would deal a stinging blow to an economy already suffering under sanctions from the European Union and the United States. Syria’s two most vital sectors, oil and tourism, which account for more than a third of the government’s revenues, have all but come to a halt.

While there was no official response from the leadership in Damascus, Syrian state television said that the government would reject the deal as an infringement on its sovereignty.

Homs has been the scene of horrific sectarian clashes between the majority Muslims and sizable minorities of Christians and Alawites, the Muslim sect that provides much of the country’s leadership. In recent weeks there have been reports of beheadings, frequent drive-by shootings and revenge killings. The situation there is described by activists as grave, with shortages of food, water and medical supplies.

“We are running out of basic food items and don’t have gas to turn heaters on,” said one resident from Homs who gave his name as Muhammad. “We don’t know how we are going to survive.”