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US imposes sanctions on Syria, as civilian death toll mounts

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David Gollust
April 30, 2011

The United States imposed sanctions Friday on Syria’s intelligence agency and two relatives of President Bashar al-Assad over the Damascus government’s bloody crackdown on democracy protestors. Officials say the penalties may be later be expanded to include the Syrian leader himself.

Obama administration officials acknowledge the sanctions, freezing any American assets and barring U.S. business dealings by the named individuals and entities, may have little immediate impact.

But they say they hope the action triggers similar steps by European allies, and puts world attention on those held responsible for the deaths of protestors in Syria, including the town of Daraa where scores of civilians have been killed by security forces.

The executive order, signed Friday by President Barack Obama, names Mahir al-Assad, the brother of the Syrian President and the commander of the Syrian Army’s 4th Division, which has played a lead role in operations in Daraa.

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This article was posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 5:58 am

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