The Arab League has approved sanctions against Syria to pressure the regime to end its deadly eight-month crackdown on dissent. Damascus slammed the move as a betrayal of Arab solidarity.

At a press conference in Cairo, Qatar Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim said 19 of the League’s 22 member nations approved the sanctions, including cutting off transactions with the Syrian central bank and halting Arab government funding for projects in Syria.

The League’s step was unprecedented against an Arab nation.

Syria is facing mounting international pressure to end its violent suppression of protests against President Bashar Assad, which the U.N. says has killed more than 3,500 people since March.

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