May 27, 2011- Just one day after the United States announced new sanctions that targeted the Syrian Administration directly, the Syrian government is claiming the sanctions are nothing more than the United States’ desire to dominate Middle East policy and serve to benefit the interests of Israel.
An unnamed official source said that the sanctions are no more than a part a continual series of sanctions that have been placed by a succession of U.S. administrations and serve no purpose other than to serve Israel’s interests. Published reports in the government controlled newspaper say that the most recent sanctions are aimed at putting pressure on the Bashar al-Assad government to cut ties with Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.
The European Union is also expected to extend their sanctions next week to include President Basher al-Assad. Last week the EU imposed sanctions aimed at Assad’s closest allies such as travel bans and freezing assets. Now their idea is to put direct pressure on the President and administration in an attempt to stop the harsh bloody crackdown against pro-reform protesters.
Many in the media and even the European Parliament have criticized the EU for not listing Assad in their first round of sanctions. By waiting until next week they can allow all the foreign ministers in the 28 country union to express how important the sanctions are and that they need to be put in place. Human rights groups have said hundreds have been killed since the crackdowns began. While the Syrian authorities are blaming the violence on Islamist backed groups and outside powers.