Syria Misses Key Deadline, Reports 6 Pilots Killed

Damascus ignores Arab League request to allow in observers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 25, 2011 9:01 AM CST
Syria Misses Key Deadline, Reports 6 Pilots Killed
Pro-Syrian regime protesters wave a Syrian flag during a protest against an Arab League meeting in Damascus on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)

(Newser) – Tensions in Syria continue to rise in ominous fashion: The Syrian armed forces said today in a rare televised statement that six elite military pilots were killed in an ambush in the city of Homs. The statement also warns that Syria will "hit back" at any attempt to cause chaos. It comes as Syria missed an Arab League deadline today to allow hundreds of observers into the country, prompting the bloc to consider economic sanctions.

The Arab League had given Syria 24 hours to agree to the observer mission, a humiliating blow to a nation that was a founding member of the Arab coalition. But the deadline passed with no word from Damascus, said Arab League Deputy Secretary-General Ahmed Ben Heli. Now, the bloc will meet tomorrow to decide on sanctions that could include a freeze on financial dealings and assets. (Read more Syria protests stories.)

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