New EU sanctions looming for Syrian regime

BRUSSELS — The European Union threatened new sanctions against the Syrian regime, including adding four new ministers to a list of individuals who have been sanctioned since the outbreak of the war in 2011.

The EU published a statement threatening new sanctions against individuals connected to the Assad regime, including Minister of Information Boutros al-Hallaq, Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection Amr Salem, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Muhammad Seif al-Din, and Minister of State Diala Barakat.

According to the statement, the sanctions aim to pressure the Syrian regime to stop the violent conflict in the country and negotiate a permanent political settlement to the Syrian war in line with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254.

Last May, the EU announced the extension of its sanctions imposed on Damascus for another year. With the addition of these four ministers, the number of regime-affiliated individuals sanctioned by the European Union has reached 287 people, along with 70 business entities. These individuals are subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze. The businesses are also subject to an asset freeze.

The four ministers on the sanctions list were appointed four months ago, according to Decree No. 208 issued by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in early August.