Arab League extends Syria deadline
The Arab League has offered the government of President Bashar al-Assad three more days to stop violence or else face economic sanctions as a previous deadline for Damascus to act passed on Wednesday.
The announcement came after the league's foreign ministers had met in the Moroccan capital Rabat to decide their next move after Assad ignored the ultimatum issued on Saturday by a majority of the league.
The league is "giving the Syrian government three days to stop the bloody repression" of its civilian population, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, the Qatari foreign minister, told a news conference after the meeting in Rabat.
"But if Damascus does not agree to co-operate with the League, sanctions will be adopted against Syria."
The Qatari foreign minister said that Arab patience with Assad's government was running out, but that it still had time.
"I don't want to speak about last chances so [Syria] doesn't think it is being given an ultimatum, but we are almost at the end of the line," he said.
The league also said it would send international observers to Syria, but only if Syria agreed to the plan.
Meanwhile, Syrian opposition groups said 14 soldiers and 17 civilians were killed in violence on Wednesday.