The United States has imposed sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for human rights abuses. The US and EU had already imposed sanctions on other senior figures close to Assad, i.e. his brother Maher, his cousin and an intelligence chief, but this time also Assad himself has been targeted specifically by the international community for his government's crackdown on protesters.
The order signed by president Obama punishes Mr Assad and six senior Syrian officials for human rights abuses
The others named are: Vice-President Farouk al-Sharaa, Prime Minister Adel Safar, Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar, Defence Minister Ali Habib, Abdul Fatah Qudsiya, the head of Military intelligence and Mohammed Dib Zaitoun, the head of the Political Security Directorate. The new measures freeze any assets they have in US jurisdiction and make it illegal for Americans to do business with them.
Syria condemned the sanctions, which it said were part of a US effort to impose its policies in the region.
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