US to sanction Syria's Assad for human rights abuses

By REUTERS
May 18, 2011 19:46

 
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WASHINGTON, May 18 (Reuters) - The United States will impose sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad for human rights abuses on Wednesday, sources briefed on the matter said, in a dramatic escalation of US pressure on Damascus to cease its brutal crackdown on protesters.

The sources declined to provide further details on the US decision other than to say it would be announced on Wednesday and that the US sanctions would flow from alleged human rights abuses by Assad.

Targeting Assad personally with sanctions, which the United States and the European Union have so far avoided, would be a significant new break with Damascus and raise questions about whether the West ultimately seeks his removal from power.

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