Arab League Suspends Syria, Plans Sanctions

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DAMASCUS, SYRIA - MAY 10:  Syrian President Bashar Assad receives Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (unseen)  May 10, 2010 in Damascus, Syria. Medvedev is on a two-day state visit and will hold talks focusing on the bilateral relationship between Syria and Russia, amongst other matters. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
Bashar al-Assad. (Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images) Photo: Sasha Mordovets/2010 Sasha Mordovets

Earlier today, eighteen members of the Arab League voted to suspend Syria from the regional body, just as the regime of President Bashar al-Assad launched yet another bloody attack on the rebellious city of Homs. Syria's representative to the League said the decision — set to include political and economic sanctions — was "serving a Western and American agenda," a line often trotted out by the region's autocrats when faced with serious criticism. Unavoidable were early speculations that the League may soon endorse a no-fly zone like it did in Libya, credited with Qaddafi's ultimate defeat. The Qatari foreign minister, however, stressed that a no-fly zone has never been discussed for Syria. But we're guessing a no-fly zone had also never been discussed for Libya, that is up until it was actually discussed.