anti assad protest - Reuters - November 23 2011 -
Demonstrators wave placards and banners during a protest against Syria's President Bashar Assad in Homs November 23, 2011. Banner: We want Damascus to be the capital of freedom, not for Assad. Photo by Reuters
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Arab League foreign ministers are to meet Thursday in Cairo to discuss sanctions on Syria after the deadline for Damascus to comply with a peace deal expired.

On Saturday, Syria said it would seek clarification from the organization for its plan to send Arab monitors into the country, saying their mandate violated national sovereignty.

Ahmed bin Heli, the deputy head of the Arab League, said in remarks published Thursday that the bloc would impose sanctions on Syria for its failure to comply with the plan that also calls for the withdrawal of the military from civilian areas.

“It is regrettable that the Syrian officials have not complied with this plan drafted within an Arab framework to stave off foreign intervention," he told the Egyptian semi-official newspaper Al-Ahram.

More than 3,500 people have been killed in Syria since anti-government protests began in mid-March, according to the United Nations.