News / Middle East

EU Leaders Threaten Syria with More Sanctions, Urge Assad to Resign

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (file photo)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (file photo)

The European Union has threatened more sanctions against Syria if the government crackdown on dissent continues.

EU leaders warned Damascus Sunday they "will impose further and more comprehensive measures against the regime" as long as the government continues to repress the civilian population.

The European bloc already has an embargo on crude oil imports from Syria, has banned investment in the country's oil sector, and has forbidden EU-based operators from participating in joint ventures with Syrian companies or providing credits and loans.

The effect of these measures has been blunted by Russia and China's block of a U.N. Security Council resolution that could have led to broader action.

The EU Sunday also issued a fresh call for Mr. Assad to "step aside" and called the creation of the Syrian National Council "a positive step forward." It said the Syrian people must be able to define their future "without fear of repression."

U.S. Senator John McCain went even further Sunday, saying military action to protect Syrian civilians may be possible now that NATO's air campaign in Libya is ending.

McCain said Mr. Assad's government "should not consider that it can get away with mass murder." He noted that Libya's ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi made that mistake and it "cost him everything."

The influential Republican senator, speaking Sunday in Jordan, also charged that "dark forces in the region, especially in Iran, are working to hijack the promise of...the Arab Spring." McCain said these concerns "are real and legitimate and merit our vigilance."

Most Syrian opposition groups have said they oppose military intervention, and NATO allies have shown little inclination for mounting such a campaign in another Arab state. There also is real concern that Mr. Assad's ouster would spread chaos around the region.

Earlier Sunday, the Syrian leader replaced governors in two provinces that have had months of protests against his 11-year rule. Syria's state news agency said the president appointed Hussein Makhlouf to run the rural areas surrounding Damascus, and Yasser al-Shoufi to govern northern Idlib province, near Turkey.

Mr. Assad has fired several other provincial governors since nationwide protests erupted in March. The United Nations says his ongoing crackdown has killed more than 3,000 people. The government says terrorist gangs have killed hundreds of security personnel in the unrest.

In the latest violence, rights groups said government forces shot and killed two people in the central province of Hama early Sunday. Activists said security forces also broke up an opposition protest strike in southern Daraa province that began Thursday.

There was no independent confirmation of the strike or the latest violence. Syria has barred most international media from operating in the country.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid