| 03.08,11. 06:11 AM |
EU Adds Syria Defense Minister to Blacklist
The European Union on Tuesday added Syrian Defense Minister Ali Habib Mahmoud and four others to its blacklist of individuals and businesses associated with the ongoing repression there.
The EU's official journal also showed that the extended lists includes Mohammed Moufleh, head of Syrian military intelligence in Hama, the scene of a bloody crackdown by the army which activists say has left more than 100 dead.
Also among the five, who are now subject to an asset freeze and visa ban, were Major General Tawfiq Yunis, head of 'internal security' in the General Intelligence Directorate and Mohammed Makhlouf, also known as Abu Rami, an uncle of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Completing the list is Ayman Jabir who was "directly involved in repression and violence against the civilian population."
Last month, Europe had warned Syria that would increase pressure in the absence of a halt to violence and any progress in moves towards a political transition.
To date, the 27-nation bloc has slapped an asset freeze and visa ban on some 30 businesses and individuals linked to Assad, including members of his family and three commanders of Iran's Revolutionary Guard accused of aiding the crackdown.
The new measures come amid strong international condemnation of the use of force and repression against civilian Syrian protesters this weekend.
The U.N. Security Council has not yet been able to agree even on a statement on Assad's crackdown, and Russia and China have threatened to veto any formal resolution.
However Moscow on Monday urged Damascus to stop the repression in its strongest criticism yet of the Syrian crackdown.
The Security Council will hold a second day of talks on Syria Tuesday.