BRUSSELS - The European Union imposed sanctions on Tuesday on 12 Syrian government ministers, two senior military figures and a United Arab Emirates company it accused of helping supply oil to Syria.
The moves were part of a gradual tightening of EU sanctions against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has clung to power despite a three-year-old civil war in which close to 200,000 people have been killed.
The EU said the 12 ministers, appointed by Assad in a cabinet reshuffle in August, shared "responsibility for the regime's violent repression against the civilian population", and would be subjected to asset freezes and travel bans.
They included the minister of economy and foreign trade, Humam al-Jazaeri, and the minister of communications and technology, Mohammad Ghazi al-Jalali.
The EU imposed similar sanctions on Colonel Mohammed Bilal, a senior officer in the Air Force Intelligence Service of Syria, and Major-General Ghassan Ahmed Ghannan, commander of the 155 Missile Brigade, who it said was "responsible for firing at least 25 Scud missiles at various civilian sites between January and March 2013."