Syria: 17 dead as AL gives 24 hour deadline
Eleven members of the Syrian regime's security forces and two deserters were killed in clashes on Thursday in the province of Homs, where at least four civilians also died, activists said. The clash took place in the town of Huleh, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
According to AFP, the rights group said security forces shot dead three civilians in the Bayyada area of the city of Homs in central Syria and a fourth in its Karm el-Zeitoun district. The city of Rastan, also in Homs province, was attacked by heavy machinegun fire after clashes between troops and deserters, two of whom were killed and 13 injured, according to the Britain-based rights group.
Meanwhile, an Arab League committee on Thursday gave Damascus 24 hours to agree to allow an observer mission into the country, or it could face sanctions that include stopping financial dealings and freezing assets. The Arab body urged the Syrian regime to allow the entry of the mission by Friday, or else the League will meet Saturday to decide on sanctions. In a statement issued after the committee met, the group said punishment could include ceasing trade with the Syrian government apart from strategic goods that affect the Syrian people. Other sanctions could include stopping flights to Syria and ending dealings with Syria's central bank.