News / Middle East

EU Broadens Syria Sanctions to Target Iran's Revolutionary Guard

Soldiers of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard (file photo)
Soldiers of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +

The European Union on Wednesday expanded Syria sanctions to target the elite unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard for its role in helping Syrian security forces crush the five-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

An EU statement said Iran's elite Quds Force has provided "technical assistance, equipment and other support to the Syrian security forces to repress civilian protest movements."

Other new targets on the EU blacklist include several Syrian generals, a former defense minister and special envoy for President Assad, Hassan Turkmani, and close associates of the president's younger brother, Maher.

Meanwhile, Syria's state-run SANA news agency says "armed terrorist groups" have killed eight Syrian soldiers, including an army officer during a pair of attacks on military vehicles.  The agency said the soldiers were killed Wednesday in towns near the central city of Homs.

Earlier Wednesday, Syrian security forces continued raiding towns and villages throughout the country and arrested suspected government opponents.  Human rights groups said security forces used tanks in some of the raids, which began late Tuesday.

In Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a news conference Syrians "have the right to democracy."  But he ruled out military intervention without an international mandate.   

The United Nations says at least 2,200 people have died in Syria during the government's five-month crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.  Assad has blamed much of the deadly violence on what he says are armed "gangs" and "terrorists."

The Reuters news agency quoted an Arab League official Wednesday as saying the grouping would hold an urgent meeting on Syria Saturday.

On Wednesday, the SANA news agency showed graphic photos of what it described as victims of an attack by "armed terrorist groups" in Homs.  It said 14 citizens had been "kidnapped, tortured and killed" by the assailants.

On Tuesday, Western nations circulated a draft U.N. Security Council resolution calling for sanctions against Assad, influential family members and key associates.  

U.S. and European delegations on the Security Council hope to put the resolution to a vote as soon as possible. They are, however, facing resistance from Russia, which has veto power.  Moscow has said it does not think sanctioning Damascus is the right approach at the moment.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid