EU expanding sanctions against Syria

BRUSSELS, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime's violent crackdown on protesters has prompted the European Union to widen sanctions, diplomats said.

The Wall Street Journal reported the latest sanctions will take effect by next week's meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.


The new sanctions will ban investment in Syria's oil sector and move to block the country from importing bank notes printed in Europe, one diplomat told the Journal.

The newspaper also reported a diplomat said that after a meeting late Tuesday, the EU had reached an agreement in principle to broaden the asset freeze on a major Syrian telecommunications company, a bank and several firms that supply equipment to the country's military.

Thus far, the EU has hit with sanctions more than 50 Syrian individuals and about a dozen companies, and the latest would add 10 entities and more individuals, the Journal said.

Details are to be worked out in the coming days.

Less than two weeks ago, the EU banned Syrian oil exports to European countries as part of its effort to pressure Assad to step down.

On Monday, the United Nations said, 2,600 protesters seeking Assad's ouster have been killed in the Syrian uprising, which began in March.


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