Bashar Assad
Photo: AFP photos/ Syrian TV

EU announces new sanctions against Syria

European Union, Switzerland set to impose seventh series of sanctions against Assad regime

New sanctions against Syria came into effect on Saturday, in wake of a recent maritime arms shipment seizure by Turkey.


Both the European Union and Switzerland have targeted Syria's oil sector in new sanctions, with the EU banning new investments there and prohibiting the delivery of bank notes to Syria's central bank.


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The EU has also added two individuals and six companies to a list of people and entities facing an assets freeze and travel ban.


The new measures are the seventh set of EU sanctions imposed to punish the regime of President Bashar Assad for its relentless crackdown on dissent that erupted in mid March.


Earlier this month, the EU adopted a ban on Syrian crude oil imports. That is expected to hit hard, as the EU buys 95% of Syrian oil exports, providing a third of the regime's hard currency earnings.


The Swiss sanctions put an embargo on the import, sale and transport of Syrian oil and oil products.


'Time to increase pressure on Assad'

Turkey, formerly a key regional friend of Syria, has intercepted a shipload of weapons bound for Syria, the Anatolia news agency reported.


On Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had suspended all dialogues with Damascus and warned of sanctions. The announcement followed a meeting with US President Barack Obama in New York – held on the sidelines of the 66th UN General Assembly – in which the two discussed the need to "increase pressure" on Assad's regime.


On Friday Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Damascus security forces had shot dead nine people in the Homs area in the centre of the country, while the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) group reported 12 killed nationwide.


The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva has said the death toll from the crackdown on dissent since March 15 in no approaching 3,000.


Meanwhile, Syria's official news agency SANA reported Saturday that the Syrian army's deputy chief of staff died of a heart attack on Friday.


"The high command of the Syrian armed forces announces the death on Friday at 1:30 pm (GMT) of the army's deputy chief of staff, General Bassam Najm Eddin Antakiali, who succumbed after suffering a heart attack," the report said.


"His burial will take place in the martyrs' cemetery in Damascus."




פרסום ראשון: 09.24.11, 17:31
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